Two teams playing on short rest and in hot conditions was never going to be a formula for an attractive match, and fans at BBVA Compass Stadium learned that the hard way on Tuesday night.
The Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire played to a scoreless draw on Tuesday in a match that lacked many quality chances and produced little in the way of quality soccer.
The teams combined for just three shots on goal as Sean Johnson registered his easiest shutout of the season. Tally Hall had even less to do, making just one save for his own clean sheet.
Houston played without Geoff Cameron, who was nursing a hamstring injury, and Dom Kinnear used the match to trot out an experimental 4-3-3 formation. The new look didn't generate much offense though, and Houston was forced to settle for a point at home.
The draw pushed the Fire's unbeaten streak to four games, and moved them to within a point of Sporting Kansas City for third place in the East.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Did you fall asleep? Impressed with Chicago's defense? See the Dynamo using the 4-3-3 again, or was it an experiment gone bad?
Share your thoughts below.
I’ve juxtaposed Ownby with Clark and Carr as basically pointing out the wasteland RM has been this season. If a sloppy hustle player can come in and win balls, beat defenders, and make some effective crosses — and the other players at the position don’t seem so capable — the current pecking order is whacked. The reality is that Clark seems feckless and Carr historically was nothing more than an energy sub when with the Fire. That he’s been elevated above that station by Kinnear is our mistake and Ownby’s level of success as a fairly blunt instrument underlines we can and need to do better.
Yes to the extent it was experimental it was a second 433 straight experiment. IMO the modest impact of the formation so far relates to the fact that the coach seems to have told the players to drop back into more like a 451 on defense, and starts Moffat and Camargo in the midfield. So we start off tilted backwards then try and throw numbers forward late. We weren’t beating Chicago downfield much, and ended up playing halfcourt crossing soccer like we would in the 442 anyway.
Boniek impressed me but neither he nor Davis feels fully exploited, the wing backs were getting too many crosses at the specialists’ expense. But then it seemed to be the Fire’s game plan to sit on the front two rows of attackers and so we ended up passing back and having defenders hit crosses. Not your highest percentage play.
Oddly enough it struck me that the creative response to Chicago’s defense would have been switching to the 442 again when Ching came in, get two target men instead of one, maybe push the wings wider so they get the ball more. But Kinnear is only occasionally that creative (TFC second half), and he basically rode the 433 to the whistle like he would have done the 442 most other weeks, worse, he subbed in Clark late who’s done nothing all season and in fact shanked the last play of the game into the stands.
I like the new ideas percolating in but I’m not sure the sole signing so far this summer will be enough to win something significant for us, with CCL coming this may require a continued tinkerman approach to squeeze out max results.
Still trying to figure what’s up with Grazzini. It’s hard to read between the lines…has he not been practicing, does he have personal issues, is Klopas punishing him, does Klopas want him out of the way while he tries some new combinations, did they pick up his option to trade or loan him, when will he be back? IMO Grazzini is more creative and is better making that final pass to spring someone than either Alex or Rolfe.
I liked Ownbys speed in the right. Needs to work on skill but he creates offense. Would like to get rid of Moffat.
Maybe it would be better if Ching was the holding forward in the center, and Bruin was on the left with Boniek on the right. Macoumba Kandji ain’t doin’ it for me.
A lot of credit to Chicago who came in intent on packing everyone behind the ball, earning a shutout, and maybe hoping for a fortunate counter. Houston was unable to convert on the very few chances they had (the best opportunity coming from a Bruin header). Had Houston scored early this would have been a much different match and the Dynamo may have benefited from drawing Chicago out with some long range shots which they seemed uninterested in taking. This was the second game in a row Houston has gone to a 4-3-3 and while Bruin struggled big time with the formation vs. Philadelphia, he was much more involved in this match. Davis’ delivery was off all night.
The game was not terribly exciting, but as a Fire fan I’ll take it. While we could have passed SKC in the standings, we still have 4 points on Houston.