To sum up the Houston Dynamo’s 5-0 victory over in-state rivals FC Dallas on Saturday night, you need only one word: cathartic.
After seven straight defeats in all competitions against their northern neighbors—including three 4-1 scorelines in the past two seasons—the emphatic victory was just what the doctor ordered.
“I think that leading into this game it was not just a player’s mindset but the organization’s mindset that the past was the past,” defender David Horst told media following the game. “Yeah, we haven’t done well against FC Dallas the past years but that’s done and over with. This is a whole new team, new guys are out there and it is a new year. I think that we showed tonight that we are a new team.”
Houston proved just that from the gun on Saturday, starting with Horst’s headed goal in the sixth minute and culminating in a 4-0 lead in just the 27th minute.
“FC Dallas did very well against us last year, I think that tonight we showed our class,” head coach Owen Coyle said. “I don’t think too many people gave us a chance. Our focus is staying together, knowing, believing in what we can do in a league that is growing a lot.”
Turning in the largest margin of victory and third five-goal game in franchise history should do wonders for that belief.
“It gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Horst said of the performance. “Our goal leading up to this game was to go the whole 90 minutes or 95 minutes; whatever it is going to be, we had to be focused, locked in and limit their chances.”
The shutout was also cathartic for the defense, after allowing three goals on Opening Day to result in a draw. That the combination of clean sheet and goal barrage came against a team that challenged for the Supporters’ Shield last season emphasizes how this Dynamo team has changed, Horst said.
“We have said from day one that we would be a very exciting team and a very disciplined team and we’ve showed both of those things tonight. We have to keep our confidence moving forward and defensively. I’ve we do that we are going to be a tough team to beat this year.”