Back in 2007, Houston trailed New England by a goal in a big game on the East Coast. It was the MLS Cup final, in face.
A formation change out of the Dynamo’s tried-and-true 4-4-2 gave Houston what it needed, an equalizer that turned the match (and those MLS Cup fortunes, as Houston went on to win.)
The stakes weren’t as high Saturday at Gillette Stadium, but the result probably will mean a lot in deciding who does and doesn’t go into the 2013 MLS playoffs. And once again, it was a shift out of the 4-4-2 and into a 3-5-2 that helped get Houston there against the Revs.
Houston’s 1-1 draw at Gillette keeps Houston in fourth place, still with a chance of catching Sporting Kansas City for the far more valuable third spot. Plus, Dominic Kinnear’s team has three of its remaining four regular season matches at home, so things look pretty good for the Orange. (Which is surely why Houston folded itself right back into the 4-4-2 following Will Bruin’s 76th minute strike; the tie serves Houston well.)
The draw does not, on the other hand, do good things for the Revolution, trying to fight its way back into the post-season bidding for the first time since 2009. Jay Heaps’ team is sixth, still one spot out of the playoffs.
Highlights from Gillette Stadium: