The start wasn’t great, and the end could use some work, but for much of the middle the Houston Dynamo showed their capabilities in year two under head coach Owen Coyle with a 3-3 draw against the New England Revolution.
After nearly scoring themselves just 30 seconds into the match, a wonder strike from Diego Fagundez put the Dynamo behind the 8-ball in the third minute of the match. The response from Houston was telling.
“We told everybody after that goal, ‘just calm down, relax, we’re alright,’” Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley said. “You see we get the goal at the end of the first half, but we controlled the game in the first half.”
Indeed, the Dynamo kept over 60% of the possession and produced eight shots throughout the first 45 minutes before being rewarded with a somewhat fortunate goal from Chaco Maidana right before the halftime whistle. It was a statement half from a team that’s still trying to gel all the pieces together.
While New England worked itself into the match in the second half of play, quick strikes from the Dynamo were able to give them the lead and a shot at three points. A late barrage on goal from the Revs and a last-second header from Daigo Kobayashi gave both teams just a point from the proceedings.
“I thought that it was an electric start to the season in respect to the quality of both teams,” said Coyle. “It is tough since we didn’t win the match. I think we put so much into it, to come back from an early goal … we picked ourselves up with chance after chance in the first half.”
Coyle said that midfielders Maidana and Ricardo Clark exited the match early as they aimed to build up match fitness after missing parts of the preseason with small injuries. Similarly, Beasley was forced off after 71 minutes due to a knock received in the first half, and his replacement at left back, Alex Lima, was hobbled for the final minutes without a substitute able to take his spot.
The team was understandably upset with the final result, but overall positive about the style of play they were able to build in the first week of the new season with many new faces. With 33 more games ahead of them, they know that the entire season will be a process of smoothing out the bumps that come along in the road.
“I mean, that was our first game playing full on as the top five in the attack, we’re only going to get better and [build] more chemistry as the season goes on,” striker Will Bruin said. “I think three goals [scored] is a pretty good start, but we need to shore up on the other end as well, and that’s all 11 of us.”