01 August 2007

First Impressions - Houston Dynamo 1 : 0 DC United

The better team won. You might not see it from the box score, but Houston was the better team. Let's go father than that - Houston is a pretty damn good team that does what champion teams do: They beat other good teams.

And tonight, DC United was a good team. Not great, but good. They threw enough at Houston that they might have stolen a result. Emilio is still snake-bit, and Christian, Guy-Roland, and even Jaime weren't fortunate enough to convert their chances. The defense showed well, even if they did give up some counters, including the one that led to the goal. The passing wasn't perfect, but it was better than many games I've seen this year, including other games we've won. It could have gone our way. It didn't. That's not unfair.

If we're out of Superliga because of this, then that's the way it is. I feel better about this team for the end of the MLS season now than I did when this tournament started. Part of that was seeing injured players like Moreno, Kpene, and Namoff return to the line-up. Part of it was seeing Marc Burch make the most of his minutes. But most of it was seeing a team that, for the first time this season, seems to be coming together. And make no mistake, this team is coming together. After a choppy opening 25 minutes where Houston nearly caught United out multiple times, the team played smart football, slowed the game down a bit, and started to influence the game in their favor by changing gears. It worked. Yes, a slip-up of perfect proportions gave Houston their goal. McTavish was beaten to the header than sent the ball through to Ching. Boswell was much too casual in how he positioned himself in relation to Ching. Josh Gros was too late to be of any help. But chances like that are going to be given to very good teams like Houston, they will find a way to create them. All you do is try to limit their chances, and create your own. DC did that. There's reason for optimism, even if Morelia pulls out the win tonight and the tournament is over.

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At 01 August, 2007 22:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wonder how much of Houston's prowess is it's home field advantage at work. In a small, narrow pitch like they use, they are the perfect team, but they do not seem as strong when they play on the road.

In the last few months, they have played weaker teams on the road, Dallas (a game they always get pumped for), and then mostly home games...

From what I saw tonight, they are able to jam up the tight pitch with players, grab the ball, and then use speedy counters to score.

I just wonder what the result would have been if the stupid Nat's had not been using RFK. On grass, and a wider pitch, would Houston be as effective against us...?

At 02 August, 2007 01:55, Blogger Charles said...

...and we're through, thank you Club America. If Moreno and Namoff can get back to full strengh, the end of the season is looking bright.

At 02 August, 2007 08:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Currently clutching to the 8th place playoff spot, but if we handle more games like we did with America, we're in good shape.

At 02 August, 2007 08:57, Blogger Sean said...

What about Bobby Boswell's whiff three yards out on a completely open net?

Now /that/ is something to be ashamed of.


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