After two straight wins to start the 2014 season, the Dynamo head into a week off at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. A question mark coming into the season, the defense has yet to concede a goal and Will Bruin is in the form of his life.
Opening night in Houston got off to a great start for the Dynamo as Will Bruin scored just 64 seconds in to the game against the New England Revolution. Bruin would add a second later in the half and he set up Boniek Garcia to give the Dynamo a 3-0 halftime lead. Omar Cummings delfected in a Ricardo Clark shot late in the second half to finish the scoring in the 4-0 rout.
Matchday 2 saw the Dynamo hosting another Eastern Conference playoff team from last year and a rematch of the 2013 Wild Card game. The Montreal Impact were the opponent and Bruin again found the scoresheet to give the Dynamo a narrow 1-0 victory.
Before the season I wrote about the defense being a big question mark coming into the season. Centerback was an area of concern and it got more concerning when Eric Brunner got injured. No worries, David Horst is a more than capable back up. “Wreck It Horst” as his teammates call him is already a favorite in the locker room. I asked Kofi Sarkodie about Horst after the New England win.
Sarkodie: “I like Horst! He brings some tenacity! He brings a lot of tenacity, a lot of power, a lot of grit, and I think that’s going to scare a lot of teams as we move throught the season.”
When Brunner is fit again it will be interesting to see what Kinnear does with the centerback pairing. I don’t think there is any way you can take Horst out of the starting lineup at this point. He has played very well and alongside his physical presence, he has a great feel for the game and does a great job at cutting off opposition passes and shots.
Wiith two early wins against Eastern rivals (two 2013 playoff teams), the Dynamo have gotten out of the gates quick. I asked Will Bruin about how important the early wins are with a tough Eastern Conference this season.
Bruin: “You see at the end of the year it comes down to one or 2 points so if you can get your points early and get ahead of the game it’s easier to stay on top instead of trying to play catch up at the end.”
The Dynamo know how close they have been in the standings the last few years. They missed out on hosting the MLS Cup Final in 2012 by one point and missed out on avoiding the Wild Card game in 2013 on a tiebreaker. With the number of good teams in the East, any distance the Dynamo can start to put between themselves and their rivals is huge. Just two weeks in to 2014 they have begun to do that.
The Dynamo now have a week off before traveling to Vancouver on March 29. After the Montreal win I spoke with Corey Ashe and asked if he would rather keep playing after the hot start or if a week off at anytime is good.
Ashe: “Either or. We’re on a good streak, I think the important thing is to stay hungry. It is a week off but this practice this week needs be intense. The level doesn’t need to drop. We have a game against San Antonio, we want to keep the motto going where if you want to step on the field with us it’s going to be a battle.Nothing changes, we do have an off week but it’s going to be a tough week of practice for sure.”
Ashe mentioned a game against San Antonio. The Dynamo have been quiet about this but I can confirm the Dynamo will play the Scorpions on Thursday at noon at Houston Amateur Sports Park. I doubt this game will be open to the public but it will be good for the Dynamo to get in a game and stay sharp.
Houston is the only team in Major League Soccer with 6 points. At this point that doesn’t mean much. It’s as good as you can be after two games though and that is what is most important.
(image courtesy of Jason Fochtman/The Associated Press/The Courier)