Well, at least it wasn’t 4 – 1.
The Houston Dynamo wrapped up the home portion of their schedule with a 1 – 0 loss to LA Galaxy in front of an announced attendance of 21,085 (emphasis on announced, a sea of empty seats would suggest otherwise).
With the loss, the Dynamo are 5-5-7 at home, tied for fewest wins at home with Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City, as well as most losses with the former (the latter has one home game left to tie the Dynamo).
Due to the loss and Chicago’s 2 – 1 win over plummeting New England Revolution, the Wooden Spoon is now very much in play. Currently Houston is ahead of Chicago by 2 points, but travel to Denver to face off against a Colorado Rapids side looking to win the Supporter’s Shield for the first time ever. Meanwhile Chicago travels to Canada to face Toronto FC.
Also with the loss, their third in a row, the Dynamo posted their worst ever record at home.
Unless Mauro Manotas goes on a tear in Colorado next week, the Dynamo’s Golden Boot winner will have the fewest goals scored in league play. Ever.
The first half against LA was mostly one-way traffic with the Galaxy putting the defense under constant pressure, especially as the game wore on. However, despite the many dangerous chances created, LA wasn’t able to threaten Joe Willis’ net much.
The best chance came from a Giovanni Dos Santos shot that curled just over the bar. Offensively for the Dynamo the team looked disjointed. With seven changes made to the starting lineup from Wednesday’s draw against Seattle, including the first start for Yair Arboleda, the team lacked chemistry and rhythm. Crosses were off, passes to tough or sent the wrong way.
Fortunately Houston’s defense was up to par as there was a lot of emergency defending to clear away passes or block shots.
Arboleda’s first start was one he’ll want to forget as the youngster was easily dispossessed of the ball all game. His speed did force the Galaxy to pass the ball quicker than perhaps they’d have liked at times but the offensive runs did little to create scoring opportunities.He showed off some nifty footwork, but if this is to be his only minutes in league play, it likely won’t be enough to bring him back next season.
The second half started with some attacking chances from the Dynamo with Christian Maidana attempting two shots from distance, but only one curled just past the far post. Oddly enough this was when goalkeeper Brian Rowe was in the shade. During the first half, when he had the sun in his eyes, Houston didn’t have any shots from distance to test him (or any at all for that matter).
LA’s goal came in the 72′ when LA went on the counter from a Dynamo corner kick. After Joe Willis made a diving save to stop a low shot, David Horst failed to clear the rebound. It went right into the shins of Alan Gordon and into the net.
Houston’s best, and only chance really, to tie the game came in the 88′ when Abdoulie Mansally whipped in a pin-point perfect cross to Will Bruin who headed the ball over the crossbar from the top of the six yard box.
LA are now locked into the 3rd position in the Western Conference and have zero to play for when the host FC Dallas next week. They could play spoiler against FC Dallas but with a midweek game to start the playoffs, more likely is that Bruce Arena will want to rest as many players as possible. Meanwhile Houston can trip up their arch-rivals with a loss to the Rapids and an LA win.