Home field is considered sacred for any team, it takes on a much deeper meaning for the Black and Red. United was unable to get the result it wanted against the Houston Dynamo, having to settle for the same result as last week, one point in the standings. A win would have given them three points, both last week and this week. After going up 1-0, the Black and Red surrendered a second half goal that would hold up until the final whistle was blown, ending in a 1-1 draw.
The home team got off to a very good start again this week, applying pressure to Houston’s back line early on. DC was able to dominate possession for much of the first half, taking their ‘time’ on the ball and building slow, methodical attacks. That was a great plan of action as United was without it’s stellar net minder, Bill Hamid missed the game with an injury he was dealing with from last week’s match against the Red Bulls. Per several reports, it was a right thigh contusion which gave Andrew Dykstra the start in goal.
The ongoing pressure by DC led to several scoring chances, none of which they could complete. The build-up of the attacks on those occasions were beautiful, they were precise and purposeful with every single pass. It routinely fell apart when it was time to finish, no one could seem to find the proper touch to put the ball into the back of the net.
It happened when Jairo Arrieta was pulled down just outside of the Dynamo box, United would get a chance for a set piece from a favorable position. Chris Rolfe decided to take the kick, prior to Rolfe striking the ball, Taylor Kemp ran over the ball as a decoy or dummy to get the wall of defenders to move a bit. Chris unleashed a wicked curling blast that dipped right inside the upper 90 (top right corner) as Houston’s Deric couldn’t get to it in time. That goal put United ahead and brought life to a stadium that was ready to explode.
Houston started the second half down a goal and they decided that how they played in the first half wasn’t indicative of who they are as a team. In that first stanza, DC was able to bottle up the dangerous Giles Barnes. That changed at the half, Barnes decided to get fully engaged in the game and the tide began to change. Where there was once little room to operate, Houston was able to impose their will physically. DeMarcus Beasley was also extremely impressive from his left back position, rarely letting anyone get behind him and doing a great job assisting the attack
The Dynamo were able to tie the game up in the 61st minute, it was all effort. Brad Davis placed a cross into the box, Will Bruin was able to get a head on it. Dykstra made a great save by pushing the ball to the side but was unable to corral the ball. Clark followed up his teammate and hammered it home from close range, the goal took the air out of RFK.
Both teams created several chances to put the game away in their favor, to get the three points by way of a win. Nick DeLeon, Luis Silva and Miguel Aguilar came on as subs. All three played a role in creating those late scoring opportunities for United, their ability to win in 1v1 situations put a much needed stress on the Houston defense. It opened up lanes for crosses, but finishing was the issue.
- Over passing. United is a good passing team, but they often overpass in finishing situations
- Killer Instinct. DC has to start putting teams away, couldn’t capitalize on late scoring chances
- Back line has played very well since Birnbaum’s been out
- United playing much more aggressive over the last two games
- Kemp, Franklin do a great job winning balls in the air despite their size
- Team must find a better way to service Arrieta, through the air isn’t working