Yes, it is tough to believe considering the team’s depth, star power and experience, but the Dynamo is struggling early and it is unclear whether things will turn around in week four.
SBI Correspondent Alex Swaim took in the Dynamo’s latest disappointing finish and gives us his take on one of the league’s biggest early-season disappointments.:
Champs keep on struggling, still no wins
By ALEX SWAIM
Two weekends, two games, two draws. The results might have been the same, but last Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Kansas City Wizards couldn’t have felt more different from the 3-3 draw against FC Dallas last week.
In the home opener against Dallas it felt like the Dynamo were unlucky to come away with the win because they kept making defensive mistakes and uncharacteristic midfield turnovers, despite dominating the game. This week against Kansas City in the cozy confines of Community America Ballpark, they were unlucky to win because the other team kept them from winning it with good defense and timely saves from Kevin Hartman. The difference between the results is that the Dynamo, despite not dominating the midfield, didn’t get beaten.
This weekend’s game was the fifth in 15 days for the orange, so it’s no surprise that the Dynamo didn’t score, despite have opportunities to do so. Brian Ching and Dwayne DeRosario are still the heart of the Dynamo attack, and must be exhausted. They’ve had two competitive games a week going on half a month now when you include the national team matches three days before the season opener.
DeRosario looked dangerous even on what must be tired legs, and he was just high on one shot that Hartman would have never had a chance to get to. Franco Caraccio once again played well and meshed with the attacker better than in previous games, but he still missed a few passes that could have been dangerous.
Brian Ching’s play was better than his games against Dallas or the Concacaf Champions Cup tie in Costa Rica, but he still doesn’t look as good as he did two years ago when he got called up for the world cup. Physically I don’t think he’s dropped off much, but he seems to be too content to play holding forward. He needs to remember to take shots on goal even when they aren’t perfect – a lesson that the Dynamo could have used in their midweek game against Saprissa. I expect Ching will get better as the attack in general settles down.
The defense played well against the seemingly potent Kansas City offense. Even with Claudio Lopez and Scott Sealy attacking well they back four looked solid. Bobby Boswell proved he could indeed keep himself between the ball and the goal, even though the field was small and Kansas City isn’t the fastest team in MLS.
Eddie Robinson played a great game and didn’t look like he had been injured in the game against Dallas, but I have a feeling he’ll get a league-mandated rest week due to the elbow he put on Tyson Wahl.
And let’s not forget Tony Caig, who not only kept a clean sheet but did so in a convincing manner. He had four saves on the game and more good plays than that. He actually looked like a professional soccer player, and answered a lot of questions about his abilities on Saturday.
The most important part of this game though was the return of three of the four starting midfielders. Brad Davis, Brian Mullan, and Ricardo Clark all started and played good games. Stuart Holden also came in off the bench and immediately looked dangerous. Imagine what it’s going to be like when all three return to form. They’re the reason I’m not worried about only getting three draws and two losses in the last five games – when the Dynamo have their first choice midfield back and playing well they will score the goals and keep the other teams from scoring. When they do, the Dynamo will start winning.