Coming off of Saturday’s streak-breaking 3-0 win over Austin FC, there was some concern among the Dynamo coaching staff over how the team would come out in their mid-week contest in Los Angeles. Those fears were quickly put to rest courtesy of Fafà Picault and his goal-scoring prowess, as the Houston forward netted his seventh goal in nine games in the 13th minute of last night’s contest.
“I was worried because you don't want to get to the point where now you're thinking, ‘Okay you won a game so everything is in good shape,’” Head Coach Tab Ramos said after the match. “I'm happy with the team's performance. I thought we bounced back well. The guys came out fighting.”
It is easier for a team to come out fighting when its best players set the tone in terms of workrate and commitment, a role that Picault takes pride in.According to Ramos, it is this attitude that makes Picault such an important member of the Dynamo.
“He's an extremely hard worker for every minute he's on the field,” Ramos said. “Obviously, like every player, sometimes they have good days and sometimes they have bad days but I know that I can count on Fafa giving maximum effort every time and that counts for a lot. On top of it he's a great human being and that helps on the field and off the field.”
Picault’s recent goal scoring streak has seen him cement his status not just as a leader on the Dynamo, but also vaulted him up near the top of the league scoring chart. Since August 4, his seven goals trail only DC United forward Ola Kamara. That is also the second-most productive nine-game stretch by a Dynamo player in Club history, trailing Mauro Manotas’ run of eight goals in the last nine games of the 2018 season.
For the 30-year-old, the goal scoring is important, but what matters most is making sure he is showing his teammates what it takes to succeed in this league.
“I definitely want to be one of the guys that can lead through example and give my all on the field. I think that's contagious. When one guy does it, two guys do it, three guys do it, however, many guys are doing it, it just catches throughout the whole group,” Picault said after the match. “I want to give that example to those guys that are coming up in the culture of professional football to understand what it's like to bust your butt every game and every day at practice."
It is this sort of mentality that has been crucial in keeping the Dynamo together throughout a challenging summer. With the team building momentum on the back of Picault’s impressive recent run of play, they are focused on building off of his performance. And Saturday's upcoming Texas Derby matchup against FC Dallas will go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.
“There's not a doubt in anybody's mind that playoffs are still in reach,” forward Griffin Dorsey said. “Seven points (in a week) is the goal now. That's where our minds are at, and our hands are at. We are going into Dallas full force and ready to roll.”