Dynamo Theory Breakfast Links – July 4, 2022

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Happy 4th of July. We hope you are enjoying your day off. It’s been a busy weekend for football in Houston, so let’s get to the Breakfast Links.

Houston Dynamo had a home game Sunday night with Charlotte FC, the first time these two teams have met. Sadly, Dynamo would go down 2-1 even though Charlotte FC were winless on the road this season, which made that loss a bit more painful. It also stung a bit more that the defeat took place in front of an impressive crowd of 19,242 fans. With this loss, Dynamo sit in 11th place in the Western Conference standings.

Dynamo came out and did well early in the game, creating chances and pressing well, but there were still issues when it came to the finishing touch or finish. The performance dropped significantly after the first 20 minutes of the match and head coach Paulo Nagamura spoke about it in the post-match press conference. “Honestly, I think we started the game well,” Nagamura said. “I think the first 15, 20 minutes of the game. We created opportunities, we did not put an end to the opportunities we had. I think after that the team went down tremendously – the performance. There were too many unforced errors and giving away the ball at crucial moments. “Lots of giveaways, lots of stray balls, lots of unforced errors that lead to lots of shallow chances,” Nagamura said. “They were really good in transition, Charlotte FC, but mostly because they were given the ball too much. We lost too many easy balls by forcing plays when we should have kept them and it took our momentum out of the game. In the second half we tried to change some things, to be a bit more mobile in attack, but again I think it was a bad day for us today. Too many gifts, too many stray bullets. That’s what really, really affected our game.”

There was a flash of genius, again by Darwin Quintero late in the second half as he fired the ball back to Fafa Picault, and it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. Fafa took it off his chest and sent it straight into the legs of Charlotte keeper Kristijan Kahlina in the 81st minute. The goal was initially ruled out for offside but after a VAR check the goal was awarded. Dynamo tried to mount a comeback, but it was too little, too late. They’ll come back and watch a movie to see where they can improve, and they’ll come back to it on July 9th.

This game will be Hector Herrera’s expected first, as he is eligible to make his first appearance for the home game against FC Dallas. With the lack of points, that’s going to make the final playoff push even more difficult. I can attest to that; the crowd was the biggest and most energetic in quite a while. Fans are beginning to recognize that this is a new era of Houston Dynamo football. Fans will have to be patient and realize that these things take time, but the cogs are in motion and good things are coming for the organization.

Maria Lysaker – USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dash took on Kansas City Current and suffered a tough 2-1 home loss on Friday night. Several players are out for international duty and newly acquired striker Ebony Salmon has been brought in to help bring attacking options to Dash. The Current took the lead in the 43rd minute when Shea Groom was called for a hand ball in the box and awarded the visiting team a penalty. Kansas City midfielder Lo’eau Labonta took responsibility and buried his spot kick.

The Dash had their fair share of chances with 9 total shots and 2 big chances created. Moreover, both teams have completed 74% of their passes. The Dash obtained 8 corners against only 2 for the Current and both teams managed 5 shots on target. The Dash had more accurate long balls with 38 (49%) and had more evening tackles, with 14 (74%).

The Current widened its lead at the start of the 2nd half (46th minute). Hailie Mace found a pass high in the box and calmly sent her shot into the back of the net. The Dash managed to pull one back in the final moments of the game. Classified as an own goal on Elizabeth Ball, this could not have been possible with the dangerous pass into the box from Ryan Gareis. The referee whistled just after the goal was scored and ended the game at 2-1.

With the players missing, the Dash played well and will look to regroup for an away game against the Orlando Pride Friday, July 8.

Houston Dynamo 2 had another great outing from the team, flexing the team’s depth and ability to overcome and persevere. Dynamo 2 has a great combination of offensive and defensive threats on the field. Marcelo Palomino entered this one leading the team in key assists and finished 15th in the league. Also, it’s a huge plus to have players like Marcelo with Juan Castilla (the guiding hand) and the young phenom, Brooklyn Raines. Their success rates are over 82% while also ranking highly in key passes. Then you have Papa N’Doye (fear of all taken by none) and now a dangerous Kyle Edwards to join the attack, with Jacob Evans wide or up high when needed.

A spectacular combination of top box play between Brooklyn Raines and Marcelo Palomino found Kyle Edwards alone and on goal in the box. Edwards would make them pay in the 51st minute. Team manager and captain Talen Maples thought he had given Dynamo 2 the lead with another of his booming headers, but it was denied and there is no VAR in MLS NEXT Pro .

These guys are starting to click, and we’re going to see them pull off another round of plays with great form here sooner rather than later. Dynamo 2 was close to three points in this one, but San Jose Earthquakes 2 found the equalizer late and dramatic. William Richmond provided the goal from a well-crossed ball and Dynamo 2 were left stunned. A moment of brilliance for San Jose left Dynamo 2 chasing to find the late winner, but this one would head to the penalty shootout, both teams securing at least 1 point.

San Jose were forced to go first, normally seen as an advantage, but Dynamo 2 keeper Andrew Pannenberg made the save of the night leaving San Jose with an empty spot and hoping their keeper could save them. Juan Castilla stepped up and calmly buried his PK, leaving the keeper with 0 chance to save, getting Dynamo 2 on the board. Brooklyn Raines followed after (with a little fire after for the opposing goalkeeper, who taunted the players before the PKs) and was followed by Marcelo Palomino who also buried his PK. The 4th PK was crucial as D’Alessandro Herrera opened up his hips and at the last moment tricked the keeper and hid him in the bottom left corner. It also kept the pressure on San Jose. The Quakes brought out their 4th player and they had to make the PK or they lost and the player attempted a Panenka on Dynamo 2 goaltender Andrew Pannenberg. Having already been beaten once in the middle, he was ready. Andrew stayed home and held on and it paid off as he hit the easy chip in the middle to give Dynamo 2 two runs. They showed a lot of heart and never gave up. Win as a team, lose as a team. Dynamo 2 will be back in action at home against the Real Monarchs on Sunday July 10.

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