It sure looked like the Dynamo would have to wait another week for that first win, another week to cease the talk about a champion falling apart. It looked like Houston was destined for another non-win when Ugo Ihemelu was whistled for a controversial handball that gave the Dynamo a penalty kick and Dwayne DeRosario the chance to play her again.
DeRosario converted and left Colorado feeling a bit cheated after another decent performance. Taking a road point from the champions would have been an accomplishment. Losing the way they did left the Rapids dejected and unfulfilled.
SBI Correspondents Alex Swaim and Craig de Aragon took in the action and shared their takes on the match with his.
Dynamo finally wins and fans can finally relax, for now
By ALEX SWAIM
Okay Dynamo faithful, you can start breathing again.
The Dynamo finally turned some of that good play into goal and came out on top of a decent Colorado team.
So it wasn’t their best game of the season. In the beautiful game good results can come from bad play. If you’ve followed the Dynamo this season you know all too well that results can go the other way in a hurry. Hopefully this is a sign that the bad luck is over. It’s a good boost in the team’s confidence as they go on a difficult three game road trip, starting with a tough game against Chicago.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to go to Robertson for the game. Family obligations and whatnot. From what it looked like the crowd was a bit on the thin side, but were responsive and loud. It’s always hard to tell volume on the television, because it’s largely dependent on the way the crowd is microphoned and mixed into the channel’s sound. In any case, it still looked like a solid showing from the fans that made Robertson rock again. Oh, and if you where there, good job on making sure the ref caught the handball. The way this season’s been going I thought it was going to be another blown call.
The game itself wasn’t a pretty one. Games in Robertson look like they will not be aesthetically pleasing this season. Credit goes to the Rapids for slowing the Dynamo attack down without making the game choppy. Until the wingers (Stuart Holden and Brian Mullan in particular) start finding that final ball playing from the outside, all the Dynamo attack will be coming through the middle. That means that Dwayne DeRosario has to have room to create or nothing will happen. Space was hard to find with Pablo Mastroeni sticking to DeRosario all game.
The good news is that it only slowed DeRosario’s productivity. Between DeRosario and Ricardo Clark there was more than enough attack through the middle, which led to several very good chances. Brian Ching managed to put one of those chances in for his first goal of the season. It’s a shame that the goal was borderline offsides – I didn’t think Ching was off, but his position at the flick was very close to Colorado’s final two defenders. Franco Caraccio was offsides, but inactive. Either way, Ching’s move to draw out Bouna Coundoul was good and he put it into the back of an empty net for the tally. Given Ching’s history of scoring in bunches, I hope it’s a sign of things to come for the Flyin’ Hawaiian.
The goal given up was good play the Colorado combined with Eddie Robinson not being fit enough to play. I’m surprised he even started the game, but are you going to tell Robinson he can’t start if you were in Dominic Kinnear’s position? In either case, I’m pleasantly surprised how well Bobby Boswell has been playing after looking so feeble at the start of the season. He needed to step his game up, and he did. Look back at the Wells-for-Boswell trade now. In Dom we trust.
And what about that DeRosario penalty kick? Expertly taken and desperately needed from the attacking midfielder. I don’t know what Ugo Ihemelu was thinking with that handball, but he should have been red carded. I think cost his team a point is pain enough. I was half expecting the ref to not call it either. It would fit the pattern that the season had taken up to that point. Let’s just hope that this means the Dynamo’s bad luck for the season is over.
I can dream, right?
Charitable Rapids hand Houston its first victory
By CRAIG de ARAGON
Not only are the Colorado Rapids playing well this year, they’re doing a lot of charity work also. No, not visiting sick kids in hospitals or building houses in third world countries, they’re lending a hand to the cellar dwellers, the stadium-less and the winless. But you know what? They haven’t done it alone. They’re getting help from 4 guys in yellow. It’s not every game, but sometimes, they just feel the need to be charitable. Saturday night was one of those times.
The Rapids went to Houston and played pretty well for the entire game; they battled back, fought through the muggy heat, and even found a late equalizing goal. That’s when the philanthropic arm of the Rapids was feeling generous. On an innocent throw in, the ball came up high to Ugo Ihemelu and while trying to corral the pass, the ball grazed his arm, while he was 6 inches inside the penalty area. At that point, Referee Tim Weyland had a choice. He had the choice of refereeing according to the book, or refereeing according to the game. He chose the former and in doing so, Houston Dynamo were gifted their first victory.
This brings up a debate that I often have with myself, if I were a referee, would I call every foul just because it’s a foul, or would I go with the flow of the game and not call fouls that would overly penalize the perpetrating team. I don’t know what I would do. Honestly, I wouldn’t even want to be put in that position. But in this instance, I would hope that I would have enough wherewithal to understand the circumstances and let the game play on. There was no player wearing an Orange jersey within 15 yards of Ihemelu. He wasn’t under any pressure. In fact, it looked like Weyland was doing the same deliberation I go through, in his own head, he initially patted his chest and let the play go, and then after a few seconds of regret, he blew the whistle. With that blow, he fed 20,000 starving people their first taste of victory in almost 6 months.
The Rapids now have a short week this week, and will be showcased on MLS Primetime Thursday against another cellar dweller, another stadium-less team, the team from the wrong side of the Rockies, and hopefully this time, they’re not in the giving mood.