Friday, September 24, 2010

Of broken fences and Houston Dynamo's late game destruction

I know the schedule still says that Houston Dynamo have five more games to play this season, beginning with tomorrow night's game at DCU, the only team right now that is worse than us. (And just who predicted that before the season?) But I think it's well past time to call time on the whole exercise, functionally at least.

Summing up my feelings for the season so far, it's simple. It sucks. Any more need to be said?

When I look back to last season, and it's weird rash of red cards, nine over all games in all competitions in a two-and-a-half month span from early August to mid-October, I thought that it was just one of those weird statistical oddities that crops up from time to time. Totally unpredictable, very weird and not admitting to easy explanation. "Whew," I thought. "At least nothing that weird will happen again."

And I was right, nothing that weird did happen this year. Instead, something even weirder did.

Most teams will lose a game giving up a stoppage time goal on e a season or so, maybe twice. The fact is that you just don't see that sort of thing very often. It happens and it always sucks to have it happen to you, but if a team is really bad, the losses will come early, often and not be restricted to the very back ends of games.

Or so I thought.

Dynamo have now had this happen to them four times this season. Four times! And are currently sitting on a two-game streak where this has happened to them. Not only that, but this is the team's second such streak this season. Here are the four:

May 29 v Phunions. Danny Mwanga leads the comeback for Philly's first-ever road win, 3-2. With this, though we did not know it at the time, we have seen what the rest of 2010 will look like.
June 2 v RBNY JPA with the stunner in what was pretty much the last action of the game, a 2-1 loss.
Sept. 18 v TFC. Dwayne De Rosario, who else, hammers us for a brace, the second with just seconds remaining in a 2-1 heartbreaker at home!
Sept. 22 v KC. Josh Wolff scores the killer in a 4-3 loss.

The links are to the videos of the game. Watch if you dare. I did for the purposes of this post and think I will have to wander around all weekend to get the images out of my brain (that is unless it happens again in RFK Saturday. Not trying to jinx things, just saying.). Just to even things out, those four games are two on the road and two at home. In three of the four, Dynamo lost leads, the last a two-goal lead!

But do those four games tell the whole tale of misery and woe? They do not. Chew on these other results:

Post 75th-minute losses
May 5: 1-0 loss to FC Frisco with Ihemelu goal in 78th

Post 75th minute goals
July 1 -- 1-1 draw with TFC with Gargan goal in 84th following Ching’s in 73rd
July 24 – 3-0 loss to Crew with Iro goal in 84th and Griffit goal in stoppage
Aug. 8 – Alvaro Fernandez in 88th in 2-0 loss to the Seattles
Aug. 21 – Wilman Conde in 81st in 4-3 win over Fire

Other notable dramatics against us
April 10 – Edson Buddle scores in 44th in 2-0 loss to the Gals at home.
April 26 – Fire’s Husidic in first half stoppage in 2-0 loss at Chicago.
June 26 – Rapids’ Conor Casey in first half stoppage of a 2-2 draw at home.

And against that lineup of stinging failure, we get these three that went to us:
June 26th – Joe Ngwenya notches one in the 79th in a 2-2 draw with Rapids.
July 31 – Brian Mullan gets one in stoppage that earns us a 2-2 draw with NYRB
Aug. 21 – Following Conde in the 81st, Chingy finds net in the 85th in 4-3 win over Fire.

In these 13 games right here, Dynamo went 1-9-3. In all other results this season, the team is 5-5-2. So if Dynamo is to be truly regarded as the worst team in the Western Conference, which a quick glance at the table right now shows to be true, you can see the results that have led us there.

Also revealing on the table is the fact that with 32 goals scores, Dynamo are tied for fourth in the Western Conference and fifth in MLS, hardly a worst int eh league scoring number. However, there are two goals on the field right? Over on the other end, Dynamo have given up 44 goals, the worst in the league. Only New England, at 43 is even close to us.

Now who on Earth would have predicted before the season that New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo would have the worst defenses in MLS? And that no one else would even be close? And of those 44, 17 have come after the 75th minute in games this season. That's 27 in Mins. 1-75 and 17 in Mins. 75-90+. AND THERE ARE STILL FIVE GAMES TO GO!!

So where does all of this lead? Well, that is the subject for further posts. But it's obvious the problems have not been in attack this season, very, very obvious. Read more!