Mar 17, 2018; Boyds, MD, USA; D.C. United midfielder Yamil Asad (22) gets knocked over from behind by Houston Dynamo defender Kevin Garcia (16) during the first half at Maryland Soccerplex. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Here are three things we learned from the Houston Dynamo’s 2-2 draw versus DC United:
Houston will rue missed opportunities
Houston scored two goals via D.C. United mistakes in a span of five minutes in the first half. But to start the second half, the Dynamo gave one back through a mistake of their own to make the game 2-1 at the 50th-minute mark.
Houston could have added a third goal, but failure to capitalize on its few scoring opportunities — something that haunted them against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week — reared its head yet again.
In two instances, Mauro Manotas received the ball in the box with space in front of him, and both times his first touch let him down. But the clearest opportunity came with 25 minutes left in the game. Alberth ‘La Panterita’ Elis, who had a goal and assist, received the ball in the box with no one to beat but the keeper. He let it rip but sent his effort over the top.
Elis said on numerous occasions his dream is to make a move to Europe, and if he’s going to get there he will need to finish chances like that. That opportunity would have killed off the game and more than likely secured the win and three points for La Naranja.
Dynamo settle for the draw but let three points slip away
The Houston Dynamo won a single road game last season, with that win coming against D.C. United in the latter part of the season. On Saturday, Houston should have had its first road win of the season but let it slipped from their finger late as the Red-and-Blacks equalized in injury time. Houston will settle for the point but the draw should feel like more like a loss. Houston lost the possession battle, only having 40 percent of the ball, and failed to have composure when it did have it. Aside from the aforementioned scoring opportunities, the Dynamo couldn’t grab a hold of the game. It’s two first-half goals came off D.C. United mistakes in the backfield. Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera has previously said that the Dynamo will be more than a counter-attacking team this season but that message has yet to take shape on the field. While Houston has had some success pressuring higher up the field this season, it still has ways to go. The season is still young but the early returns on creating opportunities when having possession aren’t great. And when the Orange do create scoring opportunities via possession, they fail to capitalize on them.
Elis, the difference maker — again
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Elis was yet again the difference maker for the Dynamo.
Aside from adding to the score line, he created a game-high four chances, according to Opta Sports. Elis was a constant threat on the right flank and caused havoc against D.C. United’s defense. He added three key passes and eight successful passes in D.C. United’s part of the field.
Last season, Elis was one of the new revelations of Major League Soccer, and he’s picked up where he left off. He already has two goals and three assists in the early part of the season. Of Houston’s seven goals this season, Elis — a Young Designated Player — has been involved in five of them.
If Elis keeps putting on these type of performances, he’ll find himself on MLS’ Best XI at the end of the year.