Head coach Dominic Kinnear and the Dynamo players were tired of hearing about it. “I think I’ve heard enough the last time we won was May”, Kinnear quipped when talking about the team’s last win in MLS play. Will Bruin’s stoppage time goal stopped the winless streak and may have breathed life into a season that looked destined for an early end.
In the postgame press conference Bruin said, “This was as much of a Dynamo win as it is at home. Grind them down, control the game, and then get a hustle goal.” It was the hustle of Omar Cummings pressuring a back pass by Taylor Kemp that led to the goal. DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid and defender Steve Birnbaum ran into each other and Cummings passed to Bruin for the easy tap in. “If I miss that, I probably retire”, Bruin said with a smile.
Yesterday’s win saw the debut of two new signings Luis Garrido and DaMarcus Beasley. Both players started, Garrido in midfield in place of Andrew Driver and Beasley at left back in place of Corey Ashe. I asked Giles Barnes about the impact of the new players coming in to the team. “We knew what we were getting when they were brought in. Luis has come in and he’s got that bite in midfield. He’s got simple passes, he sees things before it happens. Beas has been to four World Cups, I don’t need to speak for him. It’s fantastic to have them be able to come in and make the impact that they did straight away. It shows that they’re both great players.”
Both Beasley and Garrido played well and their presence in the lineup the remainder of the season will be huge. Garrido, alongside Ricardo Clark, brings a defensive presence that is among the best in the league. The Honduran is also an underrated passer. He sees the game well, as Barnes noted, and his history with Boniek Garcia will help the attack.
Also helping the attack is the chemistry Beasley and Brad Davis have. After the game I asked Beasley about playing with Davis with the national team and how that helped him in his first game in orange. “Obviously playing with him and knowing him and his qualities is always good. He knows myself, he knows me. If he goes in, I go behind. I let him try to stay up as much as possible. He’s an attacking guy. We don’t need him on our back line. I want him to push as high as possible and give Sean Franklin a run for his money. He got good crosses in today and that’s what we need from him. He pushed the guys good the last 10 minutes. We kept pushing and we got the goal we needed.”
Getting three points was huge for the Dynamo. At this point in the season, draws aren’t good enough. With the win, Houston sits six points behind New York for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with a game in hand. A trip to Seattle looms on Sunday but fortunately the Dynamo have no players playing midweek in the All Star Game.
The schedule isn’t easy down the stretch but there’s a change in the Dynamo. Two new players seemed to have energized the team. This team can be dangerous playing with a new confidence. Multiple players commented that they believe they can beat any team in the league. It’s still going to be an uphill battle to make the playoffs but is anyone going to doubt Kinnear and the men in orange?