Dynamo’s Quality and Class will be Tested Tonight


Ching and the Dynamo have more than Football to worry about tonight

The Houston Dynamo under Dominic Kinnear, perhaps the best American soccer coach anywhere have been wildly successful since re-locating from San Jose two years ago. They’ve won two MLS Cups, gone deep in two CONCACAF Champions Cup, made the final of the inaugural Pan Pacific Cup and were oh so close to getting to finals of Superliga. However, the Dynamo has never faced anything resembling what they will tonight in Costa Rica against Saprissa.

While MLS fans often times argue it is unfair to play matches at altitude in Mexico it simply is not. Games played in Mexico don’t in any event have the intimidation aspect, the outright thuggish behavior and hooliganism that matches in Costa Rica do. Crowds in MLS are very much a wine and cheese crowd compared to many around the world, and even though Mexicans are passionate about their football, their behavior for both club and national team matches doesn’t approach the depths of human decency that matches in Costa Rica do.

In Saprissa’s second leg quarterfinal match last month with Atlante featured a number of incidents that seemed to unnerve Atlante, a club that lacks robust fan support and last year had to move from Mexico City to Cancun. We’ve seen the United States national team on three seperate occasions in the last three qualifying cycles become unglued in San Jose when facing Costa Rica. When Mexico beats the United States it is because they have more skill (not the vaunted Azteca where Mexico’s performances against the United States in the last three qualifying cycles have been short of the dominant form Mexican fans seem to represent when talking about the series) but often times the US players have a hard time handling the crowd in Costa Rica, and almost always give a far worse account of themselves in Costa Rica than in Mexico. The same has traditionally been true for MLS teams who lose to Mexican teams on the road because the Mexican teams have more talent and skill but lose to Costa Rican teams because they are not accustomed to playing in a passionate football atmosphere in a serious elimination match.

How Houston holds up tonight will speak volumes about the MLS Cup Champions and ultimately about the league itself. Will the wily veterans like Dwayne DeRossario and Brian Ching lead the way to the Dynamo competiting at a high level (even if they lose the match) and bring some pride to MLS and American Soccer fans? Or will the Dynamo like the Galaxy, Wizards, Earthquakes, Crew and Revolution before them go down to Costa Rica and fall victim to the mind games and hooliganism the crowds exhibit? I’m guessing that Houston will lose but will not embarass themselves in US National Team/former MLS team fashion. The Dynamo can hang their head high even if they inevitably lose should they compete at a high level, unlike their predecessors from MLS and the vast majority of Mexican clubs including Atlante have in the last several years.

23 thoughts on “Dynamo’s Quality and Class will be Tested Tonight”

  1. We should send our fans down to take lessons then. Save the wine and cheese for the baseball games when there’s nothing else to do between pitches. Hopefully the Ticos will leave their batteries at home this time, but seeing as the Dynamo are missing Onstad, Holden and Robinson it may not matter.

  2. Houston acts as if they invented this league and nothing happened before 2006. You guys are so fortunate to have a team that you didn’t see built and didn’t have to sacrfice to through tough times. It easy to lecture other supporters on how to be fans, but just wait until rough times come to the Dynamo and let’s see how passionate the fans are down in the oil city.

  3. Houston is getting run over tonight.

    If you want MLS to advance focus on DC instead of speculating on Houston somehow overturning history. This will be like Gambro Osaka all over again. Saprissa will score early and often.

  4. DeRo, Barrett and Ching were around for our whooping down there a few years ago as the Quakes. Hopefully they learned something.

  5. No chance. If Houston pulls this off they will crush Pachuca. Saprissa is much better than anyone left in the competition.

  6. We didn’t invent the league, but we have improved it. Only our third year and our supporter group sections in the north end are terraces – no sitting, no soccer moms covering their childrens’ ears.

    Anyway, the injuries have seriously hurt the Dynamo tonight – Holden, Robinson, Onstad, and Boswell out. Now Waibel is out. At least Caig is looking like he’s knocked some of that rust off.

  7. Really, listen to the Costa Rican radio link I posted. I don’t know Spanish, but I know they portray the game in a manner more exciting then any radio team in this country potrays its game.

  8. Agreed Brian. Both DC and Houston have failed tonight because of the loss of key players to injury and the inability to have adequate replacements. MLS wants its teams to do well in these competitions and is spending an obscene amount of money on guys who aren’t putting people in seats yet they won’t expand squad sizes.

  9. This is like the US against Costa Rica down there. The same B/S. Oh and memo to MLS- the entire Saprissa team is Costa Rican.


  10. Until the salary cap is doubled guys, that post Kartik wrote earlier last week about MLS failures can simply be rolled out every year at this time with updated scores and stats.

  11. Great point bzygo. USL has the players that could be helping Houston right now, and DC just loaned someone to Vancouver yesterday that they could have used today!

  12. I’m a proponent of a salary cap that is based on a percentage of team gross income combined with gross potential income useing sound accounting standards – that would encourage teams to find ways to raise revenue. I hate one size fits all rules.

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