How far can playoff experience take the Houston Dynamo?


No one does “playoffs” like coach Dominic Kinnear and his Houston Dynamo. The men in orange know just how to navigate the post season, which is why Houston has a good chance tonight despite an overall 2012 record on the road (3-9-5) that’s certainly nothing to brag about.

(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s preview of tonight’s match)

Kinnear himself is 10-7-4 in the post-season, with two MLS Cup titles and another runner-up medal (earned just last year).

Then there are guys like Brad Davis (16 games of MLS playoff experience), Bobby Boswell (14), Ricardo Clark (14) and, of course, Brian Ching. The veteran Dynamo striker has eight goals in 22 MLS playoff contests.

So, does all that mean a thing when Houston lines up against Chicago tonight at Toyota Park? Somewhat, says Kinnear:

I think it’s an important thing but it can only go so far. I think in your preparation you don’t get as nervous because you have been there before. There are certain situations in the game where you might not get as nervous or panicky, but you still have to play the game. You can’t step on the field and say ‘I’m experienced, so we have an edge.’ I do think it helps in the run-up to the game, and in your preparation, since you have done it a couple times before it is not completely new. But you still have to play and you can only lean on experience for so much.”