The Houston Dynamo needed to walk away with points following their match at Colorado Saturday night to keep their playoff hopes alive. Instead, they laid a big goose egg in 3-0 rout at the hands, or feet, of the Rapids.
The entertainment - assuming you are a Rapid fan - all came within the first 30 minutes. Maybe the Dynamo needed some time to adjust to the thin Rocky Mountain air. Maybe the Orange were riding a high after their dramatic 4-3 victory the week before. Maybe, just maybe, the Dynamo were ill-prepared to handle the series of catastrophic events that transpired in the opening minutes of the match.
The one thing Hair Balls can tell you are five reasons why the Dynamo tapped out just as fast as James Toney.
1.Early goal on the road is key to failure
If the game plan was to let the Rapids score an early goal, then the Dynamo wasted no time. It took Colorado just two minutes to punch one in the net, as Jamie Smith scored his first goal of the season for the Rapids. But hey, these things happen and the Dynamo are veteran team; they know how to keep their composure.
2.Early red cards on the road are also a key to failure Just to make the match a bit more interesting, Dynamo midfielder Lovel Palmer got himself ejected for playing footsies with Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni. In the 10th minute, both midfielders went for a 50-50 ball; Palmer may have been a tad late. The two cats collided and dropped to the ground; Mastroeni retaliated by kicking Palmer - just once - and Palmer did the same. The referees only saw Palmer's kick and sent him to the showers.
Good to see FIFA has yet to install instant replay, because the World Cup wasn't a big-enough event that could have used it. As a consolation prize for the Dynamo, Mastroeni did receive a yellow card; meaning that the refs did see his retaliation but decided only to eject Palmer - great logic.
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3. An opportunistic, counter-attacking offense will beat a defense lacking cohesion nine out of 10 times It's true, and to illustrate the point is the Rapids' second goal in the 16th minute. Even after the early goal and ejection, the Dynamo were able to put a string of passes together, gain a little possession, and looked to equalize. That only lasted a handful of minutes. Rapids forward Conor Casey made a counter-attacking run on the right side and sent a perfectly timed pass to Omar Cummings for the goal.
4. Conor F-ing Casey When you have a night like Conor Casey had against the Orange, usually your team wins. The man was instrumental in all three goals; he assisted in the first two goals with beautifully timed long-range passes. In the 23rd minute, Casey was in the right place at the right time when he headed in a rebound to make it 3-0.
5. You might want to get your offense some touches When you have a player like Brian Ching, who was coming off of a hat-trick performance the week before, you want to get him the ball. That should have been the objective if the team wished to push the winning streak to two games. Instead, the early red card forced Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear to make early defensive subs, although Geoff Cameron did move up to midfield. The Dynamo's offense was stagnant Saturday night; and when you have a three-goal deficit to overcome, having a stagnant offense is not a good thing.
The Dynamo will have a week to straighten things up before they host the San Jose Earthquakes at the little pitch on Cullen Boulevard.