LAFC hit the road for the first time on Saturday to take on the Houston Dynamo. Ahead of the midday clash, we checked in with Dustyn Richardson of SB Nation’s Houston soccer site Dynamo Theory to get a sense of how things are going down there. Many thanks to Dustyn for taking the time to answer my questions!
Angels on Parade asks Dynamo Theory:
1. The Dynamo are 1-1-0 to start the season. What’s gone well and what’s not gone well in the first couple weeks?
Houston has been a very Jekyll and Hyde team when it comes to playing at home and playing on the road. That is proving to be true again this year if you look at the results of the first two games. A home win against San Jose was followed by a road loss to Portland, to keep up with trends of what seems like the past decade. The defense looks to be improved with the addition of Tim Parker this year but another center back partner will need to emerge. Boniek Garcia has performed admirably in the role but after a Team of the Week performance in Week 1, his flaws began to show in Week 2. If Maynor Figueroa is ready to go, he will sure up the backline and ideally help the Dynamo gain some more points as this season gets underway.
2. Tyler Pasher has really impressed me in the opening weeks. Can you tell us about his story in getting to Houston and did you expect him to play such a big role so far on the field?
Pasher has been a revelation for Tab Ramos and the Dynamo so far this year. The Canadian performed well in the USL Championship with Indy Eleven and the Dynamo signed him this offseason for a small amount of money. Pasher had a good preseason with the Dynamo to get himself into the starting lineup. There were a lot of questions on if his game would translate from a lower league like the USL Championship to Major League Soccer but he is answering that quite resoundingly. I don’t think anyone, myself included, expected him to play the role he is playing but he has delighted Houston fans these first two games, drawing comparisons to former Dynamo players Andrew Driver and even Brad Davis. Pasher’s ability to run at full backs and put in dangerous balls with his left foot is something the Dynamo attack will continue to look to generate scoring chances and goals.
3. Do you expect the Dynamo to sit back and try to stymie LAFC or go for it and play a run-and-gun style on Saturday?
Last year at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando the Dynamo went at LAFC and took a 3-1 lead into half time. That lead disappeared in the second half as the Dynamo ran out of gas and the game ended in a 3-3 draw. I think Tab Ramos and the coaching staff will take some lessons from that game heading in to this weekend and perhaps change things up tactically. Saturday looks to be a rainy day in Houston so I would not be surprised to see the Dynamo sit back more in this game and look for LAFC errors to exploit on the counter attack. Ramos has the ability to play multiple defensive midfielders with the likes of Matias Vera, Darwin Ceren, and Derrick Jones on the roster, and playing the 3 of them in a bunker in front of the back four would not surprise me.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.