Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Central issues for West-leading Dynamo
by Ridge Mahoney, August 21st, 2007 9:15AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

Houston keeper Pat Onstad earned his eighth shutout and the Dynamo regained first place in the Western Conference by beating in-state rival FC Dallas, 1-0, Sunday, yet a few times the Dynamo escaped despite soft defending in the middle.

Several through balls pierced the core of the back line, manned by Eddie Robinson and Patrick Ianni. Arturo Alvarez shot and Onstad saved as Houston sorted out its assignments, and later in the match he epitomized his struggles by taking one ball so far wide of Onstad it nearly reached the endline. Then Alvarez clumsily lost possession.

Dominic Oduro ran onto a threaded Bobby Rhine pass, and Robinson apparently clipped him just inside the box, yet instead of a penalty referee Tim Weyland cautioned Oduro for diving.

Not just the backline should be blamed. Rhine and Dax McCarty occasionally found space unguarded by Ricardo Clark, who played central midfield alongside Dwayne DeRosario with Richard Mulrooney deployed at right back.

Clark had a tougher task at times because Ianni and Robinson weren't in sync stepping forward either to cut off passes or spring the offside trap. With Jaqua playing left mid in place of Stuart Holden, Rhine slid inside him to release passes before Clark could close Rhine down.

Two corner kicks found Carlos Ruiz open, but both times he headed shots straight to Onstad. Who's marking that guy?

FCD, too, must deal with issues. Clarence Goodson marred an otherwise solid game by allowing Clark to skip past him and fire a hard shot that keeper Ray Burse turned away. In the middle Goodson can be imposing but when sliding outside to cover for right back Drew Moor, he's exposed.

Speaking of exposed, the entire left side of the Dallas team seemed to have vanished when DeRosario played a ball wide for Brian Mullan to dribble upfield and drill a hard cross Brian Ching let carom off his chest into the goal.

A minute earlier, a goal by Nate Jaqua had been disallowed by an offside call. This was another narrow decision but Mullan wasn't offside.

And remember those accounts that Mulrooney, traded by Dallas to Toronto before moving on to Houston, had "lost a step?"

In the second half he ran down the speedy Oduro, who had come on as a substitute, when isolated against him on the flank. He's never been a speedy player, anyway, and his experience and versatility may be invaluable down the stretch.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Reign players reward Harvey with turnaround    
[NWSL: Final] Englishwoman Laura Harvey was an easy choice for NWSL Coach of the Year, taking ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Hopefully, we'll have some kind of home-field advantage, which will help. They played in something like ...
Charleston clinches playoff berth, Rhinos move closer    
[USL PRO: Week 24] The Charleston Battery became the fifth team to clinch a USL PRO ...
Strikers and Rowdies pick up important wins    
[NASL: Fall Week 8] The Ft. Lauderdale Strikers' 2-0 win at first-place San Antonio on Friday ...
Saturday surprises jumble Eastern Conference playoff look    
[MLS: Saturday] Perhaps Houston's contentious and surprising win in Kansas City Friday carried over to Saturday's ...
Hamburg -- der Dinosaurier -- turns to Julian Green for help    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Julian Green is set to join Hamburg on loan from Bayern Munich in a ...
What They're Saying: Louis Van Gaal    
"The progress is there, but you have to win, a club like Manchester United have to ...
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
Howard's Everton pummeled by Chelsea    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Tim Howard endured one of his longest afternoons with Everton as the Toffees fell ...
Prague-bound Garza and Corona get starts    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Joe Corona and Greg Garza, who will join the USA for its match at ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives