Since beating New York down in Houston back on Aug. 3 – and looking like champs while they did so – the Houston Dynamo simply has not looked the same.
In fact, Dominic Kinnear’s men are 1-3-3 since then, and that is hardly a way any club wants to go into the playoffs, limping in, lacking confidence, etc.
Then again, if the men in Orange cannot pull it together, they won’t need to worry about form going into the playoffs or anything like that. As of this moment, in fact, with D.C. United taking care of business tonight against Chivas USA, the Dynamo looks more and more like the side that will battle Columbus for the final playoff spot.
For two or three weeks now, it looked as if D.C. United would be the team competing with Columbus for the final seat at the table.
An injury here and there complicated things for Kinnear’s men. But the manager said before Sunday’s loss at PPL Park in Philadelphia that his team was as healthy as it has been all year.
And since Kinnear fielded a team full of reserves during Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League contest, the visitors should have been the fresher side Sunday in suburban Chester.
It might be time for a return to what the Dynamo always did so well, a 4-4-2 that relies on crosses and set-piece goals. Nothing more fancy than that. The opportunity is still there, due to a favorable schedule ahead.
Or, they can take Brad Davis’ advice. He says it’s really about commitment and want-to.
You’ve got to have the desire. The coach and teammates, you can only talk so much. It eventually comes down to each individual and putting everything that they have on the field for ninety minutes. That’s what it takes to win. That’s what’s been successful in the past. … This week, I’m sure, I can pretty much guarantee, is going to be a pretty intense week of training. We need to come out with a much better attitude next week, ready to go.
“The willingness inside to want to play…not every game is going to be pretty. If it’s not pretty, you’ve got to do the dirty work, be willing to get into tackles if you’re a guy that’s not used to getting into tackles. You got to do whatever it takes to win. You can’t assume that your teammate next to you is going to win the ball. You’ve got to do the work to make sure you get out of situations. Having that mentality—whatever it takes to win, whatever it takes to make a play.”