The Houston Dynamo are craving the elusive taste of victory.
The Dynamo's winless streak ran to six games following a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at BBVA Compass Stadium Sunday night, though on balance, the team was pleased with the result.
Amid the disappointment of not getting three points after scoring first, the last-place side see improvement, and held red-hot TFC despite being down a man for the final 45 minutes.
“I’m inspired to see effort and energy like that, but I do expect it and this group has given that over the last couple months,” Houston coach Wade Barrett said. “We continue to be a little disappointed at the end of every game, but there are also some positives we can take from every performance.
“I’m trying to work on the things we need to get better at, along with encouraging and riding the stuff that we’re doing pretty well.”
Houston struck quickly, with Cristian Maidana hammering home a well-weighted pass from Mauro Manotas just eight minutes in. The Orange were forced onto their heels, however, when Abdoulie Mansally earned a red card in first-half stoppage time for tackling Sebastian Giovinco from behind.
“The goal was nice, but it didn’t get us the three points,” Maidana said. “I try to contribute in any way I can to help this team succeed and I don’t feel like I played my best game. I hope to do more and it gets complicated when you are down to 10 players."
With Jozy Altidore having tied the game at 1-1 off a corner kick in the 24th minute, Houston spent the second half staving off Toronto's numerous scoring opportunities.
"The commitment, the fight that the guys showed, we all knew at halftime that it was going to be a tough second half. So the commitment that everybody took on the field and left out there, I was really pleased there,” Barrett said. “I know they had chances.”
On the plus side, Manotas earned his first assist and played well in his first start.
“I’m grateful for the additional minutes. I want to make the best out of every opportunity and today I left everything on the field,” Manotas said. “Fortunately, one of those opportunities resulted in a goal and credit to Chaco [Maidana] for putting it away.”