Houston’s fans surely have had quite enough of this quirky scheduling.
Scheduling is always a tough issue in MLS, and a frequently contentious one.
The Dynamo’s case was complicated by its May stadium opening; league officials tried to mitigate the early hit by back-loading games into later months.
But the result has been a lot of games lately. And Sunday, the Dynamo traveled to play at Vancouver in the only game of the weekend, a weekend where everyone else was idle due to the international break.
So this is what happens when teams are forced to play on a weekend arranged so that teams won’t have to play: The Dynamo defense was half unrecognizable. Houston was missing three of its top five defenders: Geoff Cameron (United States), Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) and Andre Hainault (Canada).
Nathan Sturgis played center back; he’s played fullback before in MLS, but he’s mostly been a midfielder. Meanwhile, rookie right back Warren Creavalle played his first MLS minutes. So it’s probably no surprise that Houston matched a season-high three goals allowed in the 3-1 loss to the Whitecaps.
Of course, credit where credit is due. Vancouver couldn’t have cared less about Houston’s defensive issues. This was a big night for Vancouver rookie Darren Mattocks (pictured from Sunday), who supplied two of the goals, including one in the 4th minute. He was probably unfortunate not to get a hat trick.
Here’s Mattocks’ first: