The game was in Houston. For D.C. United it was never going to be easy, but in the end it was just painful. United was only two minutes away from earning only its second point ever in Houston before a defensive miscue led to a Dynamo goal and a 1-0 loss.
In the regular season and in the playoffs United is now 0-11-1 in Houston. The one draw was a 0-0 result in 2008 and for 91 minutes it looked like United was about to escape with another 0-0 draw. Instead in the first minute of three minutes of added time, Will Bruin scored his tenth goal in nine games against United.
For Bruin it was gift. Left back Taylor Kemp, starting for the injured Chris Korb, headed the ball back toward defender Steve Birnbaum. In an effort to get to the headed ball, Birnbaum ended up screening goalkeeper Bill Hamid from gathering the ball in the box. Dynamo forward Omar Cummings seized the moment and crossed it to Bruin for the game-winner.
[RELATED: United still winless in Houston]
- United will need to be more assertive. One of our keys to the game on the broadcast was to absorb early pressure. United did, but the pressure lasted all night as the Dynamo outshot United 20-7 and had an 8-1 advantage in corners. In addition Houston was credited with 57 percent of the possession. To be sure without a win since May 17 the Dynamo was desperate. The game also marked the debuts of DeMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido for the Dynamo. In some ways it was the Dynamo’s way of rebooting its season. United was disciplined enough to neutralize the Dynamo, especially with Beasley and Brad Davis working the left flank, but going forward absorbing that much pressure could lead to more lopsided results.
- Keeping the faith. On the schedule August is intimidating. Sunday was the first game in a stretch of seven games in 29 days. United missed Korb and Nick DeLeon, out with hamstring injuries. Despite the late mistake by Kemp, he did some good things against the Dynamo. As always Lewis Neal was more than solid as a replacement for DeLeon, and prevented Beasley from scoring. Collin Martin played 30 minutes and was involved. Fabian Espindola is getting closer to a return from a knee injury. Regardless the month is going to be busy and United’s depth and quality will be tested.
“Not the greatest way to end a game. We knew they were going to be hungry. It’s our third game in eight days, and it was hot. Kind of faded a little in the second half. I thought we played well enough to get a point. In these type of games, and I’ve been a part of a lot of them here in Houston. It’s one play that goes either way. One play can win it for you, and as we saw tonight one play can lose it for you. Good group of guys, our depth tested tonight. Not the result we wanted but we’ll move on, and learn from it. We have to come back down here later in the year, so obviously we need to learn from the experience.”