On Saturday night, the Houston Dynamo did something they haven't done since 2009 -- lose to DC United. With the final score of 3-2 at RFK Stadium in DC, the Dynamo suffered just their second loss of the season.
So far during their seven-game road stretch, the Dynamo have been a resilient bunch, able to find enough cojones to find late equalizers. But from the start of the match, doom was imminent for the Orange.
Here are five things Hair Balls noticed about the Dynamo's loss to DCU.
5. Where there's a Will, there's a way Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said earlier in the week that Houston forward Will Bruin was due for a breakout season. Easy to say after the second-year forward had a goal and an assist in the Dynamo's previous 2-2 draw at Columbus. The Dancing Bear had his coach's back, though, and tallied the Dynamo's two goals on the night.
In the 50th minute, Bruin got on the end of a Jermaine Taylor cross and tucked the ball in the bottom left corner of the goal to tie the game at 1-1. After United regained the lead, the Bear took advantage of the wet conditions in the 59th minute. From 18 yards out, Bruin shot the ball, which slipped past United goalkeeper Joe Willis.
If you could find one fault with Bruin's game last Saturday, it's that he didn't do the Dancing Bear.
4. Dwayne De Rosario! At the 2007 MLS Cup, De Rosario hit a snapping header to beat New England's Matt Reis and seal the Dynamo's second championship -- the game was at RFK. This time around, DeRo tormented his former team as he consistently shredded the Orange defense. He finished the night with the game-tying goal and started the sequence in United's winning goal.
Almost as impressive was his play at the tail end of the match, as his runs kept the Dynamo defense honest and kept Dynamo keeper Tally Hall busy until the final whistle.
3. Should've packed a second pair of shoes They say rain is one of the few things on this earth that show no prejudices. No matter, race, religion, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc, if Mother Nature wants to rain on you, she'll rain on you. It rained in DC, but it seemed the Dynamo were the only ones affected by the rain. Consistently throughout the match, Orange players were slipping and sliding all over the pitch at RFK. The rain also affected many of their passes, keeping the Dynamo from maintaining possession. United, on the other hand, handled the weather just fine -- outside of Willis's failed attempt to stop Bruin's second goal.
At BBVA Compass Stadium, the Dynamo will have a boot room -- where players will have an area to keep a couple of pairs of shoes at the stadium. When it comes to road games, they better find space for a second pair of cleats in their carry-on. 2. Defense looks shaky After starting the season with two shutout road wins, the Dynamo have allowed eight goals in their last four matches. What's troubling is the way they're allowing goals. Against United and the Sounders, the defense seemed unsettled and nervous to start the match, which cost them. And lately, the defense has been in the business of giving up a goal after the Dynamo either took the lead or tied the game up. Communication amongst the back four has been an issue and they're having one too many individual mental lapses, all of which are uncharacteristic of a veteran defense.
1. Homesickness an issue? It is quite possible that the players' choice of footwear had nothing to do with their inability to cope with the slick conditions at RFK. It is quite possible that the defense is just merely coping with the conditions of being on the road. It is quite possible that May 12 can't come soon enough.
Being on the road for a brutally long stretch to open the season never starts off well. Sporting KC struggled last year before they opened Livestrong, and the Galaxy struggled before they opened the Home Depot Center.
In all fairness, the Dynamo have done well compared to other MLS teams when they open a stadium weeks after First Kick. The opening of BBVA is just two weeks away, as they get a chance to extract some revenge against United.
First things first, they have one more road game to deal with as they travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls.
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