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Dynamo, Timbers play to scoreless draw

PerkinsHouPDX (Getty Images)

Tuesday night's game between the Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers will be memorable for it being the first night game at BBVA Compass Stadium. But that's about it. 

The two clubs combined for few chances in a sluggish 0-0 draw in front of a sellout crowd at MLS' newest stadium. Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins came up big on a couple of occasions in the second half to preserve the road point, stuffing Luiz Camargo and Calen Carr on similar chances inside the area as part of his seven-save outing.

The match was also the first between the two clubs since Designated Player Kris Boyd spurned Houston's offer to join Portland this offseason. Boyd was a non-factor Tuesday, though, failing to score for the fourth straight game after getting little service his way and getting bottled up by centerbacks Geoff Cameron and Bobby Boswell.

Here are highlights from the match:


  1. Finishing, you either have people in there who can do it or not. I don’t see it in Camargo or Carr. I don’t blame them for that so much as the coach for depending on them to do it. We really need more players than Ching, Bruin, Davis, and Moffat capable of finishing a play.

    In terms of the quality or passing and failure to recognize a time to attack, some of that is the inherent caution of the Kinnear system, and some of that reflects, again, the players we have around. If players are primarily chosen for their ability to play team defense, hustle, and whack crosses into the box, it’s almost more the coach’s fault when they’re in a position to pass or attack and can’t competently execute.

    Not that I don’t cringe when Carr blows an opportunity, but I almost have more of an issue with Kinnear depending on Carr. If the tactics and players were better, we might not be 0-0…..the same style could even work when DeRo was leading it.

  2. I like the way Clark can hit a cross but he looks out of shape/rusty, and I’d see a danger in starting both him and Davis on the wings at the same time because they have limited speed.

  3. As a Dynamo fan, I didn’t want to look sore for my team’s lackluster finishing.

    That said, this guy was crap. The stats seeming to indicate his neutrality (10 fouls per) lie, as Portland was playing much rougher. There were probably a solid 10 non-calls that should have been fouls, mostly on the Timbers. Maybe a couple that could have been yellows.

    Additionally, the fouls he chose to give were generally in favorable positions for Portland.

    At one point, he called a ball back 3 or 4 seconds after he initially declined to blow the whistle for a Timbers foul while the Dynamo had advantage and forward momentum.

    Again… not an excuse for the Dynamo’s performance, but sucks to see consistently below average refereeing. The only good ref I’ve seen lately called the RBNY – HOU match last week.

  4. I thought the game was exciting. Teams combine for almost 30 shots. Summary of the game was poor finishing and an even poorer ref. That guy was bad. No consistency and really let the players control him.

  5. I think Clark can work at RM, but his suspension and the heavy schedule have prevented him from starting with Davis yet.

    We need to field this lineup after we finish this 4-game block:

    F: Bruin/Kandji, Ching

    M: Davis, Camargo, Moffat, Clark

    D: Taylor, Cameron, Boswell, Hainault

    GK: Hall

    Bring in Carr at Forward and Dixon in an AM role later in the game.

  6. Major issues for the Dynamo last night, in no particular order:

    1. Poor finishing (yet again). Wish Camargo or Carr would have at leas TRIED the chip on Perkins when they had breakaways.

    2. Bad through passing. Portland’s D was split 3 or 4 times where an attacker would have been in on goal had the passer taken just a little off. This was a problem against NY and DC.

    3. Inability to recognize when to commit. There were a handful of times where Houston had momentum and the numbers weren’t too bad. Instead of pressing the attack, they slowed things down and played the backpass, giving Portland time to get their entire team behind the ball.

  7. The general problem is lack of central- and right-handed midfield playmaking, and to a lesser extent the mediocrity of the forwards. I think Kandji could be useful as either a right wing or a forward with more offensive talent around him. He was part of a Rapids championship team, was part of the cup-winning goal. I think Houston fans underrate what he could offer with more quality around him, poor man’s Oduro-type. Not incredible but enough for MLS. However, Carr would only be worthwhile as a sub like he used to be for the Fire. I don’t see the problem as that our players absolutely suck — except maybe Sturgis — I see the problem as mediocrity. We need to add one or two more good attacking players at which point Kandji would be good as a role player and we can decide whether to keep Carr as an occasional energy sub like Corey Ashe was. But the general problem to me is talent level in the midfield, this is just not the same team as Davis/ Clark/ DeRo/ Mullan with Holden on the bench. I mean, Moffat? Sturgis? This is just not the same team…

    I agree with defining the issue as “spending” because there have been some targets but the acquisition always seems to fall apart on personal terms, backloaded salaries, insistence on a “loan,” essentially an unwillingness to risk front end cash and commitment. Granted, Landin was a big blunder at the beginning of the process of trying to rebuild a winner, but if we intend to win I think we can’t let that scare us off risk entirely. And I think there are generally more reliable splurges than Landin was…..let’s be blunt, he was not really the name on everyone’s lips when we signed the man….

  8. I can somewhat sympathize with you on Carr, but Kandji “still with us?”

    First, Kandji’s been “with us” for a few months. He also was great against NY and decent last night.

  9. This caused a stir amongst the people I was watching the game with but IMO Carr’s bad first dribble went across his body and carried him into the defender, who touched the ball before plowing Carr over. The Dynamo fan in me would not have minded us getting the call, which is often given. The defender in me, however, would remind people that the defender “getting the ball first” excuses much of what comes afterward. If I slide tackle, get the ball, and then you fall over me, at least in the old days they used to routinely let that go.

  10. Houston has got to be the most boring team to watch in mls, coming from a dynamo fan. I still don’t know why Carr and Kanji are still with us. We need to start spending on players that make the game worth watching.

  11. On the other hand, Kinnear zeroed right in on the Timbers’ weakness, which is passing out of the back. Dynamo pressured high and this almost led to several goals.

  12. great insight . . . I did not see last nights game but noticed during the NYRB game how frustrating Carr is to watch – a lot of running, but does not produce much, doesn’t take any chances with any kind of savy or instinct, seems to be thinking ‘i have to shoot this ball now’ (I think he needs to score the chance in the 86th minute, either a touch by the committed charging Perkins, or far post – not a knee high near post attempt). He had an incisive pass last night, but this looks like a team without the final touch

  13. Third game for the Dynamo in 7 days, no surprise they weren’t overly sharp. Defense looked solid though and non-call on the foul on Carr near the end of the game was garbage.

  14. Team needs some added offense, 8 goals in 9 games; -1 goal difference; 3 wins, 3 losses, 3 ties. Solid, competent….but also mediocre, boring. That was a pretty bad Portland team we tied. Rather than praising Carr for dutifully running around doing nothing — he has no goals and no assists for the season, 1 regular season goal in two years here — can we go get some attackers who will actually produce? This team needs to be more excellent, like Davis, and less hustling, like Carr and Ashe.

    I’m also a little concerned that if Kinnear just follows his player shuffling to the next, predictable step, he’s going to bench the player of the game, Taylor, in favor of Ashe, who was the one vulnerable defender last night. Kandji also looked good last night and may be back on the bench. I don’t think the coach has a clear headed sense of whom his best XI is, and that’s part of the reason we’re mediocre. The other half is, I think even if he did a little shuffling it’s still not title material, we need to sign an actual AM and RM.

    We should consider Cameron out right, which would provide some actual right wing quality. He played there as a rookie, though that is generally forgotten. He can compliment Davis’ left side service. Taylor to CB Hainault RB. The defense would be a little weaker and slower but we might occasionally score this way.

  15. It was a treat to watch MLS on a Tuesday night, but what a boring game. Kris Boyd must be a frustrated dude. No service whatsoever while 9 other Timbers played bunker ball.


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