The Houston Dynamo picked up their first road point of the season in a nil-nil draw at archrival FC Dallas. Here are three things that stood out from the first Texas Derby of the season:
1. The Dynamo can get a result on the road
Good road results have been hard to come by for the Dynamo in the past few seasons and all five of the team’s previous road results this season had ended in losses. On Sunday night, the team stopped the bleeding by getting a much needed result.
The road point becomes more important when you factor in the Dynamo’s schedule this coming week: a home game on Wednesday against Real Salt Lake and a road trip to Seattle on Sunday. It was necessary, from a morale and a sporting standpoint, to take a bit of pressure off the team’s need to be almost flawless in home matches.
Now, they have to build on this. The team has a great opportunity to gain three points in an environment where they are undefeated before having to take on the toll of a trip to the West Coast to play in one of the league’s most hostile environments.
2. Tyler Deric put his stamp on the goalkeeping competition
With his performance on Sunday, Deric likely earned at the very least another run of starts as head coach Wilmer Cabrera looks to decide on a permanent No. 1 in goal. Deric started the season but was benched after the match in New England in favor of Joe Willis, but the Houston-area product was back in the starting eleven against FC Dallas.
Cabrera made it clear in the preseason that he wanted to instill competition at all positions and has been unafraid to make changes. Cabrera mentioned in his postgame presser that the staff wants a keeper "that not only does the right things, but will save us" when the defense breaks down.
Cabrera mentioned that Deric needs to clean up his kicking, but ultimately "liked the way he performed." The goalkeeper competition isn't over, but right now the ball is in Deric's court.
3. Still searching for goals away from home
The Dynamo have scored an MLS-high 19 goals at home but have only mustered three in their six road games.
This is not a problem the team will have to worry about until Sunday, and the midweek home game might actually help in getting the attack jumpstarted. The team has generated chances, especially in the last couple of games – the only problem, which is easier said than done, has been finishing.
The opportunity is there for the taking for guys like Vicente Sánchez, Andrew Wenger and Boniek García to fill bigger roles on this team and add to the attacking prowess that has been shown at home. The focus for now, however, is on Real Salt Lake as they visit BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday night.