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Houston Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera concerned with defensive errors

Following the Houston Dynamo’s 4-2 defeat Saturday against its FC Dallas rival, coach Wilmer Cabrera expressed concern over a tendency to concede goals at inopportune moments — which, against Dallas, included one in the first 10 minutes of play that Cabrera saw coming.

“We’re conceding too many goals,” Cabrera said during postgame interviews, “Defensively, that’s our problem, and it’s my responsibility. So I’m going to try to fix the defense.” 

The Dynamo are currently on a 10-game winless streak, including seven losses in the last eight matches. During that stretch, they’ve only lost two matches (including Saturday’s) by two-goal margins; five of the seven losses have been by just a single goal.

Now, they have to wait until Sept. 15 — when they host Portland — to resume play and begin an end-of-season run that could either rekindle their playoff hopes or cement their exclusion from the postseason. 

Despite Cabrera’s insistence his team prepared for Dallas and “knew their tendencies to always attack through the right side,” the opening goal followed just that blueprint when Maxi Urruti sprung Michael Barrios free for the Colombian’s sixth goal in seven matches.

The Dynamo even played an uncharacteristic 4-3-3 formation, which Cabrera said was designed “to bring a little more support in the back.” Yet the quickness of the opening goal, and letting in two Santiago Mosquera goals in the first six minutes of the second half, has Cabrera bemoaning what’s happening on the field.

Sep 1, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas midfielder Santiago Mosquera (11) fights to control the ball against Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Wenger (11) at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

“We had plans. We worked. But the execution has not been consistent, so we have to continue working and give them support,” he said. “We cannot be forgetting how to defend, how to work together. We have to give ourselves the option to show ourselves. Now, it’s about pride, to prove to ourselves that we can come back, and we can play, and we can avoid making so many mistakes.”

While Cabrera acknowledged the Dynamo currently are not on the level of their Texas rivals, he also indicated that the team’s better than it current 10th in the West position.

“Maybe we’re not that good, to be in first place in the conference,” he said. “but we’re not that bad … so we need to continue pushing.”

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