Sunday, June 5, 2011

Houston Dynamo Lose 2-0 at San Jose: A Sloppy Night on a Sloppy Pitch

On Saturday June 4, 2011, in a homecoming of sorts, the Houston Dynamo's lack of offense resulted in a 2-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in Santa Clara, California. Steven Lenhart and Simon Dawkins stepped up for San Jose in the absence of Chris Wondolowski, who was on national team duty, giving the Earthquakes the win. Lenhart scored his goal in the 69th minute while Dawkins sealed up the San Jose victory with a goal in second half stoppage time.

The majority of players who made the move from San Jose in 2006 are no longer with the Houston Dynamo, but the San Jose fans still remember the departure and the match still had a rivalry feel, at least from the San Jose perspective. The Earthquakes have struggled mightily this season, sitting down near the bottom of the Western Conference table, but Saturday night they stepped up in a way befitting a team with a better record.

Although the Dynamo came out attacking during the first half, they were never able to capitalize on any of their chances. While there are plenty of excuses for the Houston loss - missing regular starters due to national team call-ups, a sloppy pitch, a still recovering Danny Cruz, etc. The reality is there is no excuse for the Dynamo's now seven (7) match winless streak, especially considering how solid they had looked during their early season unbeaten streak. An away draw last night would have kept the Dynamo fans a little more content, but the manner in which the Dynamo lost, combined with their recent inability to hold onto leads, is not sitting well in Houston, a city that is currently experiencing a serious sports slump, save the minor league Houston Aeros who are playing in the Calder Cup.

Not surprisingly, last night's loss has the Dynamo fans grumbling louder than normal, and even the once unheard of notion that maybe it is time that longtime Coach Dominic Kinnear should move on has been uttered. While I'm not close to saying it's time for Kinnear to move on, I do think that it is time for an Assistant Coach step up and fill the void that was left by John Spencer, who took over the coaching job at Portland Timbers last summer.

Two pluses that Dynamo fans can take away from last night's match is that Geoff Cameron is back in central defense where he excelled in the 2009 season, and Colin Clark, who continues to look solid, picked up his first start with the Dynamo.

Up next for the Dynamo is a home match against Chivas USA on June 11th. The Dynamo need to take this week to get focused, work on the mistakes, work on communication, and end their current streak. There's plenty of time in the MLS season for the Dynamo to make up this lost ground, but they need to start the forward progress now if they want to ensure a return to the MLS Playoffs after missing out last season.

No comments: