Mauro Manotas scored his 50th goal with the Houston Dynamo to deliver a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City.
In MLS everyone knows you have to find ways to win games.
We often hear you have to “grind” out wins.
Well to grind out wins you have to have a strong mentality and character which the Dynamo are proving out.
Just got back to last year and refresh your memory as to how “fragile” the Dynamo were when it came to mental strength in games.
This has completely changed with some of the same players and that is a testament to Tab Ramos and staff that are instilling a new confidence and higher bar of expectation.
The Dynamo have found ways to win differently and proved last night that they won’t get rattled being down a goal.
2.) CHEMISTRY IS FRESH
Who was the first to congratulate Albert Elis after his goal near the endline? Mauro Manotas who was warming up..
I illustrate this because we are not able to attend practices (due to covid) but these displays can say a lot about a team and its chemistry.
As much as players are competing to be in the starting lineup they are also professionally supporting each other.
Manotas would come on and get the game winner via a snapped header off a great cross from Zarek Valentin.
The goal is his 50th in MLS regular season play and 51st including playoffs.
3.) MOST UNDERRATED PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Go back to the second half when both Maynor Figueroa and Alejandro Fuenmayor got pulled into midfield.
Dynamo outside backs Zarek Valentin and Adam Lundqvist both squeezed inside to cover the two center backs.
It was a moment that you don’t often see in a soccer match when two outside backs have moved laterally TOGETHER to cover center backs.
4.) BENCH DOES IT AGAIN
Now think of the use of 5 substitution and the ability to make changes three times a match.
Coaches are using these moments to really alter matches.
What defenders who are fatigued and playing in the heat want to deal with the pace and ability of Albert Elis and Ari Lassister coming off the bench?
That’s before I mention Mauro Manotas.
It will be interesting to see if this pattern continues but managing minutes is essential to avoid injury and navigate the busy schedule not to mention tactically it is a great advantage.
Now, Sporting KC brought their attackers on as well in Gerso and Johnny Russell to counter the Dynamo but let’s not forget, they went for the point and the counter attack after bringing on a 3rd center back in former West Ham United defender Winston Reid.
To the Dynamo credit their was not settling for a draw, this team went for the win and got the big reward!
5.) BY THE NUMBERS
- 3 straight wins
- 10 goals in 3 games
- 50th regular season goal for Mauro Manotas
- 56% possession vs Sporting KC
- 9 pts in 11 days
- Marko Maric 2 saves
- Elis 1 shot 1 goal
This week on Soccer Matters we will continue to go in depth on the roster , player performance and set you up for the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday. So much to talk about so now lets hear from you!