As far as gut punches go the Houston Dynamo were served a stiff one Friday night.
In an ugly game where the Dynamo and Orlando City SC looked destined to split a set of drab points, both teams struggled to create momentum going forward. Both defenses looked tough to break down and the passing and finishing were not clicking.
Things changed for the worst for the Dynamo in the 74th minute.
Goalkeeper Tyler Deric, after making a blistering save in the first half to stone a Kaká free kick, took a bad touch off a back pass and was blocked by Pedro Ribeiro. The result was an own goal for the goalkeeper and a sucker punch loss early in the season.
“We shot ourselves in the foot and gave up a soft goal,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle told the media after the game. “We never came with our A-game tonight. It’s as simple as that and there’s no getting away from it.
“Tonight we can certainly pass it better. It was just making that key decision in the final third,” Coyle continued. “That’s not the reason why we lost the game; it’s the reason why we didn’t win the game. The reason why we lost the game was we gave up such a soft goal.”
That soft goal came due to pressure and a bad touch. But in the moment of truth it was a collection of errors that went against Deric and the Dynamo. When asked after the game Coyle refused to call any one player out to the media but admitted that there was enough blame to go around.
“It was just a mistake. It was a bad touch but we don’t fault Tyler for that,” said defender DaMarcus Beasley. “Last game he bailed us out big time and this time we couldn’t bail him out. At the end the day this is a team sport. You win as a team and you lose as a team.”
The mishap sealed Houston’s fate but the team did little to rectify it. Houston’s attack generated no shots on target from six shots on the night, and struggled to create the fluid passing that the team desires.
“They didn’t pressure us and we should’ve been able to pass the ball better,” Beasley said. “For some reason we just didn’t. Those games where everybody’s not clicking as a team, whatever excuse you want to use, we need to come out with at least one point.
“That was our problem last season and we need to correct that. If we do play bad like we did tonight we do have to come out with one point.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.