Jun 9, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo defender Leonardo (22) and Colorado Rapids forward Yannick Boli (9) attempt to control the ball during the first half at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Here are three thoughts from Houston Dynamo’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
The contagious injury bug
The versatile Andrew Wenger — who has lined up as winger, midfielder and defender for Houston this season — left the game after feeling some tightness in his left calf. Wenger, who’s been a revelation at right back for the Dynamo, was returning to action after being a late scratch against New York City FC in late May for a right leg injury. He joins an injury list that is starting to get long.
Juan David Cabezas, who got hurt in the first game of the season, is still working his way back. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera said Cabezas reaggravated that injury and said the team doesn’t want to rush him back. Darwin Ceren, who had replaced Cabezas in the starting lineup, is also on the list. The midfielder had surgery four weeks ago. Defender Jared Watts, who made his first start a couple weeks back against Real Salt Lake, picked up an injury five minutes into the game.
The solace is that Philippe Senderos, who himself was on the injury list, has now made back-to-back appearances for Houston and could be ready to go if called upon. With centerback Adolfo Machado gone to the World Cup, that call could come sooner rather than later.
The Swedish DaMarcus Beasley
New Dynamo left back Adam Lundqvist made his first home appearance since signing with the team when he entered the game for Andrew Wenger. When Houston signed the Swedish player, they envisioned him as a left back, but circumstances have prevented him from playing at his preferred position as of yet. In his three appearances with the club, Lundqvist has played at right back. But despite the fact that he has yet to play the position he was brought in to play, he’s already managed to impress his new coach.
“I like that he’s a technical player; very smart on the defensive side; he’s fast with the ball, knows how to place the ball well; his movement with and without the ball; he knows how to mark and defend; and he’s agile,” Cabrera said.
“I would say he’s a Swedish version of DaMarcus Beasley, but younger. We’re very happy with him, and he’s not afraid to play on the right, and he does it well.”
Heading into the FIFA break, Cabrera said he likes the momentum his team is carrying at the moment. Across all competitions, the Dynamo are on a two-game win streak. And aside from getting players healthy, Cabrera said there are things from his team’s game that he wants to correct.
“Definitely one of the things we need to improve is our set pieces and our concentration on set pieces because we’ve been giving too many goals on set pieces,” Cabrera said. “Another thing is that we needed to close the game without conceding any goals, and today we achieved that, and that is a very important turning point for us today.”
The clean sheet against the Rapids was Houston’s first since its opening-game victory against Atlanta United. In a tight Western Conference, where Houston is currently below the red playoff cut line, keeping teams scoreless will go a long way towards ensuring the Orange make a return trip to the playoffs.