Monday, October 28, 2013

Houston Dynamo Headed To 2013 MLS Playoffs

Since the Texans were chilling during their off week, I got the opportunity to focus my undivided attention on our local football team that wears orange unis and kicks a round ball. 

The Houston Dynamo suffered a devastating 3-0 home loss last week at BBVA Compass Stadium to the New York Red Bulls that knocked them out of Supporters Shield contention and dropped them to sixth place in the tightly bunched MLS Eastern Conference playoff race.

Only the top five teams in each conference make the playoffs and the Dynamo were in serious danger of missing the 2013 MLS playoff party.  In addition the loss robbed the Men In Orange of control of their playoff destiny heading into the final game of the season.

The Dynamo were now facing a do or die situation to get back into the playoffs against a DC United team that although they have beaten them three times this year and United was on an eleven game losing streak, were desperate to not set an MLS record for futility.   And yes, DC United was relishing the opportunity to salvage some of their team pride and avenge last year's Eastern Conference final playoff loss by knocking the Dynamo out of the playoffs.

The Dynamo also needed some help from other teams Saturday and got it.   Toronto FC upset the Montreal Impact 1-0 and Sporting Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 to make the MLS playoff equation simple for the Men In Orange:  Win against DC United and the Dynamo were in the MLS playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons.

They did so but not without DC United fighting them every step of the way.  After Dynamo striker Giles Barnes was hauled down in the penalty box, Oscar Boniek Garcia confidently converted the penalty kick into the lower right hand corner of the goal for the initial tally of the game in the 11th minute.

Things were looking good at that point for La Naranja because when they score first this season, they have not lost (13-0-3) in this 2013 MLS campaign.    

DC United fought back to tie the game in the 27th minute with a Kyle Porter header but six minutes later Giles Barnes got the game winning header in the 33rd minute past DC goalkeeper Bill give the Dynamo a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish despite major pressure at times in the second half from a DC United squad desperately trying to avoid MLS infamy. 

But as the referee's whistle blew in the 94th minute DC United would indeed set the mark for fewest wins in an MLS season with a 3-24-7 record, one less than the four wins Chivas USA managed in 2005.  They would have also set the record for fewest goals in a season if it hadn't been for Porter's score that allowed DC United to finish with 21 goals scored on the season.

But back to discussing my playoff bound hometown MLS squad. 

The Dynamo finished the season in fourth place at 14-11-9 after the New York Red Bulls thumped the Chicago Fire 5-2 and the New England Revolution beat the Columbus Crew 1-0.  That created a third place tie in the Eastern Conference standings that bumped the Dynamo into the Eastern Conference play-in game they will host at BBVA Compass stadium Halloween night.against the hated Montreal Impact (14-13-7) who slid to a fifth place tie with the Fire 

Winner of the play-in game gets the New York Red Bulls 17-9-8 in a two leg playoff series 

The two time defending Eastern Conference champs are seeking their third straight appearance in the MLS Cup and last year on their way to the title game the road to it started in the play-in game against the Chicago Fire. 

The Dynamo just seem to kick up their play aonther level when they get to the MLS playoffs, and here's hoping the Men In Orange stay true to playoff form in 2013 as well.

No comments: