Monday, May 5, 2008

Dynamo Report

Saturday night’s MLS match in Houston featured two teams looking to snap streaks - the Houston Dynamo were fighting to break their winless streak while Chivas U.S.A. was looking to halt their three game losing streak. The Dynamo entered the game looking for a win, but were frustrated by a Chivas side that was happy settling for the nil - nil result, an issue recognized by Dynamo Midfielder Richard Mulrooney following the match

A morning cool front reduced the typical Houston humidity and the crowd of 20,058 that in attendance at Robertson Stadium were not only treated to beautiful night of soccer but also to an intense and exciting soccer match full of emotion, so much so that on several occasions the tension between the teams almost transformed the match into a hockey game.

For the first 15 minutes of the match it was all Dynamo attack, featuring some serious pressing by forward Franco Caraccio during the first 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the first Chivas shot didn’t occur until the 17th minute when Maykel Galindo shot the ball wide to the right. Galindo regrouped quickly in the 18th minute with a clean shot on goal, but he was denied by Dynamo keeper Pat Onstad who made the first of three saves for the night.

The Dynamo continued its offensive push during the second half of the match, but for as much pressure as they were putting on the Chivas defense, the Dynamo seemed hesitant about taking shots, and especially on break-aways where this reluctance gave Chivas defenders time to pull back into the box.

The real issue overshadowing the match was the mystifying and exasperating officiating by referee Jazef Batko, who called 35 fouls, and issued 8 yellow cards, 4 to each team, and 1 red card, which went against Chivas’ Cladio Suarez in the 82nd minute. Several of the cards issued by Batko punished soft penalties, while several hard penalties were ignored. More frustrating for the Dynamo was that despite Batko’s seeming intent to assert control over the match, he did little about the time wasting and delay tactics employed by Chivas. The style of officiating employed during the match, clearly added to the ongoing Dynamo frustration, as can be see in the post match comments of Dynamo Goal Keeper Pat Onstad:

While the Dynamo are still having trouble getting the goals that put them in the lead, the team and its fan can take heart in the fact that the Dynamo defense, which was misfiring in the CONCAF Champions Cup and in the first couple matches of the season is starting to mesh and work well as a unit, a bright spot that Pat Onstad discussed after the match

Despite the fact that the Dynamo lockerroom was quieter then I have ever seen it, and despite the sense that this draw felt like a loss, there was some levity in Coach Dominic Kinnear’s press conference.

Elsewhere in Houston area soccer news, the Houston Leones made their PDL debut on Saturday night with a 3 - nil victory over the New Orleans Shell Shockers.

Finally, Dynamo co-owner, Oscar de la Hoya, defeated Steve Forbes in the ring at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Saturday night.

To hear the audio report, including the post-match audio from the Dynamo lockerroom and Coach Kinnear's press conference, download the latest episode of World Soccer Wrap from iTunes or listen here:

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