DC United at Houston

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By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Aug 12, 2014) US Soccer Players - It's interesting to me that, even in 2014, we have streaks such as DC United not having won in Houston, ever. You'd think a deflection, injuries, maybe international call-ups… something would happen that you wouldn't have an eight-year winless streak in MLS. As for the Houston Dynamo, who are they exactly? Are they a good team that just didn't get the breaks? Or are they a team with clear weaknesses who hasn't been able to integrate quality younger players to their excellent core?

Which Eastern Conference team wants to see Houston moved to the Western Conference next season?

DC United, who, after last week have never won in Houston. They also haven’t won in Salt Lake since 2006, making them 1-15-2 on the road in Houston and Utah.

So, if DC management had marked this week as a litmus test for their resurgent team, what does it say? Really nothing if they bounce back next weekend at home to the Rapids. Until Saturday night, DC had a positive road goal difference, so this might be nothing more than an August dip.

After Sunday’s games, all the teams in the Eastern Conference that had scored 30 goals were in a playoff position. It doesn't necessarily mean more than that, but you don't think the Fire in particular would welcome a few more goals in the 'Goals For' category?

Are we calling the Houston Dynamo unlucky?

After 22 games, they have a worse goal difference than Chivas USA. They've only scored seven goals on the road all season, and despite some positives on Sunday night, they didn't really threaten Seattle that much, other than the penalty attempt. So, no, we're not.

Twelve losses in 22 games would bury a team in a less-forgiving conference. Houston has made some typically intelligent moves this season, but they need to address the 'goals for' column and the central defense, one way or another.

Are we jumping off the Galaxy’s bandwagon after one mediocre performance?

Hey Tony, the Galaxy had about 100% possession and dozens of corners, so obviously they were unlucky not to get three points on Friday night.

Okay, sure. But I’d argue that San Jose stayed organized and rarely had to scramble. If you want to throw around the word ‘game state,’ then San Jose held the upper hand. In fact, if they’d had better distribution out of the back, things might have been different. At this point, I don’t know why I ever bother bringing up how much San Jose misses Clarence Goodson’s ability to pass from his center back position. Now, if you want to say that Jaime Penedo didn’t have his best game in a Galaxy shirt, I wouldn’t disagree.

On another note, the announced attendance was less than 20,000. We all understand that getting to the Galaxy’s stadium isn’t the easiest thing, especially on a Friday night, but the organization missed a huge opportunity.

What Landon Donovan’s announced retirement does is give the Galaxy a few months to figure it out for next season. For the first time since Donovan came back to MLS, the Galaxy is without a player who can sell tickets on his own. So where does the organization go next season to increase its mediocre (for them) attendance numbers? Are they going to bring in a name player or continue their fruitful youth development process in a Western Conference that isn’t getting any easier.

What is the easiest way to tell if your team is going to make the playoffs?

I’m all for advanced statistics and analyzing strength of schedule, but if you are a fan of San Jose or Portland or New England, you have to ask yourself, ‘is my team going to get to 50 points?’

Yeah, some years the last playoff team earns 53 points or 51 points, but some years the number is 43 points. Still, if your sentence starts, “If they win five in a row….” you’re probably better off not finishing that sentence.

How long was the Atlanta Silverbacks-Cosmos NASL game delayed on Saturday night?

Three and a half hours, according to the Cosmos press release. Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement that he was pleased with the result (the Cosmos won 2-1 as Marcos Senna continues his injury recovery and scored the winning goal). “But I just think the league needs to make better decisions because you jeopardize the health of the players in a situation like this,” he said.

There were severe thunderstorms in the Atlanta area during the first half, which led to the delay. Play resumed around 11:30pm ET.


Tony Edwards is a soccer writer from the Bay Area.

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2 Responses to DC United at Houston

  1. Michael Saad says:

    Don’t forget DCU’s huge upset win at Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup final last year.

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