Apr 28, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota United midfielder Sam Nicholson (12) and Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis (17) play the ball in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Dynamo traveled to Minnesota for their third road game of the season but failed to pick up any points as the Loons handed the Orange a 2-1 loss. Here’s what we learned from Houston’s road loss.
Dynamo road curse
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Dynamo played a road game and should have walked away with all three points — but didn’t.
In their first road trip, the Dynamo held a 2-0 lead against D.C. United but walked away with a draw. In their next one at San Jose, Houston was minutes from securing all three points before an injury-time goal from the Earthquakes leveled the game at 2-2. Against the Loons, the road woes that have haunted the Dynamo since last season showed up yet again.
Statistically, Houston was the better of the two sides for most of the game. The Orange had 19 shots with five on target to the Loons’ six total shots with only three on target.
In three road games this season, Houston has two points out of a possible nine. With road games still on the schedule against Western Conference leader Sporting KC, the Portland Timbers, the New York Red Bulls, expansion side LAFC, and the Seattle Sounders, to name a few, Houston could look back at its first three road games as missed opportunities. How those lost points haunt the Orange in the tough Western Conference remains to be seen.
For the second game in a row, Hondurans Romell Quioto and Alberth “La Panterita” Elis connected for a goal in the 10th minute.
This one came in similar fashion to the one the two conjured up against Toronto FC. Quioto got the ball on the right wing and rushed to the end line before sending a cross where only Elis could reach it. La Panterita got there in time and tapped it in for Houston’s lone goal of the night.
The goal moves Elis into a tie for the team lead with four goals. It also gives him a goal or an assist in six of Houston’s seven games this season. Quioto continued from where he left off against Toronto FC. The 26-year-old was a menace on the right wing and nabbed his third assist for the season and had a game-high four chances created. Additionally, it’s the second game where Quioto goes the full 90.
When Quioto and Elis are on the pitch together, Houston is a more dangerous side and the Honduran connection is trouble for opposing defenses.
Possession with a purpose
The Dynamo took the possession battle winning it 52 percent to the Loons 47 percent. Houston’s first goal was a product of a 10-pass sequence that resulted in finding Quioto with space to run on the wing. The Honduran took a couple of dribbles before crossing to Elis for the goal.
As impressive as that passing sequence was, Houston topped it with a 15-pass sequence in the second half that should have given the Orange their second goal of the game.
In that sequence, Houston pinged the ball from side to side tika-taka style until Tomás Martinez found a streaking DaMarcus Beasley on the left wing. The 35-year-old left back crossed the ball toward goal, where Mauro Manotas got his head on it, but his snapping header was saved by Minnesota ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. In total, eight Dynamo players touched the ball during the 15-pass sequence. If last season Houston was a direct counter-attacking team, it’s proving this season to have more flair — and it starts with possession with a purpose.