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
Dynamo starts critical run against Western Conference
by Ridge Mahoney, May 25th, 2011 12:46AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] No longer a member of the Western Conference, Houston plays the Galaxy Wednesday to start a run of four games against former conference rivals. When MLS announced Houston would shift conferences to accommodate the addition of Portland and Vancouver, Coach Dominic Kinnear cited the possible travel benefits before anything else.

“I don’t think it’s going to make a heck of a lot of difference,” said Kinnear to speculation it would be easier to make the playoffs, which the Dynamo failed to do in 2010, playing in the conference that produced only two of eight playoff teams last year. “We might get a break on the travel, since we’re kind of in the middle of the country, but with four more games [34 instead of 30], that probably cancels itself out. More games will put more pressure on the rosters, that’s for sure, so I’m glad MLS expanded the rosters to 30.”

The roster pressure for Houston and several other MLS teams increases next week when players leave for the Gold Cup. Headed out of town are defender Andrew Hainault (Canada) and defender Jermaine Taylor and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson (both Jamaica). They will leave after the Dynamo plays FC Dallas on Saturday.

A 2-2 tie with New York last Saturday started a run of three games in eight days; the Dynamo is in Southern California to play the Galaxy Wednesday. Kinnear will rotate players as best he can this week; to get through the Gold Cup, he’ll need to dip deep into his roster, which is missing forward Brian Ching, sidelined with plantar fasciitis. The first two games in the Gold Cup window are at San Jose and home against Chivas USA, two more Western opponents.

For the past month Kinnear has been plugging in players to cope with the demands of late May and June. Danny Cruz has returned to training after suffering a hyperextended knee, and has played six games as Kinnear explores options at right mid. He is doubtful for the Galaxy game but Kinnear wants his abilities on the field available soon as possible.

“Danny is all energy," says Kinnear. “He’s eager and likes to just drive forward and make the fullback run, which is a fullback’s disaster, because you’ve got to go with the guy.”

Rookie Will Bruin has been a sensation with four goals, including a hat trick, and another rookie, defender Kofi Sarkodie, went the full 90 minutes against Seattle March 25 in his only appearance and played with the U.S. under-20s on its tour of France.

One of the players signed to boost the Dynamo attack, Designated Player Sergio Koke, scored his first league goal against the Red Bulls after replacing Bruin, who started up top with Cam Weaver, in the 75th minute. Koke wasn’t impressed.

“The Red Bulls did not appear to me to be from another planet,” said Koke to mlssoccer.com “I don't understand why they're placed on a pedestal. I believe we were better and we deserved more, but unfortunately we let the win escape.”

So far, wins have escaped Houston in May, and while during that span it has tied RSL on the road, it squandered a win against New York by conceding a stoppage-time equalizer. Despite winning just three of 11 games, Houston (3-3-5, 14 points) is in third place of the Eastern Conference, which under the revamped system is a guaranteed playoff spot. Last year the Dynamo managed just 33 points in 30 games and finished 13 points out of the postseason.

“I think we’re playing well,” Kinnear said. “I’m not trying to make the sun shine, but I told the guys, ‘Be disappointed; I am.’ We let up late but, all in all, I really like what I’m seeing from the team.”



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up, so it's time to make plans for your ...
Colorado fetes Donovan, then Donovan downs Colorado    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Before his third game since announcing he's retiring after the season, Landon Donovan ...
Johnson leads D.C. United past Waterhouse    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Eddie Johnson is currently suspended from MLS play, but that suspension doesn't carry ...
What They're Saying: Pablo Mastroeni    
"We need to play with two goalies. We need to make the goal smaller and play ...
Galaxy rally hands Rapids fifth straight loss    
[MLS: Wednesday] A depleted Colorado Rapids defense crumbled under an onslaught from the Galaxy, which twice ...
Press golazo punctuates comfortable victory    
[USA-SWITZERLAND] A side volley from 25 yards by Christen Press in the 77th minute highlighted the ...
Gomez ends drought, Requejo debuts for Xolos    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Herculez Gomez scored his first goal in 11 months, with the opening goal in ...
Dike scores early again as Nigeria romps    
[UNDER-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Oklahoma Courtney Dike, who set an Under-20 Women's World Cup record for ...
What They're Saying: Steve Swanson    
"I think our team is used to having Morgan come in and out. Sometimes that can ...
Galaxy II signs Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen II    
[USL PRO] The LA Galaxy, which was the first MLS club to launch a second team ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives