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RSL vs Houston: What we learned

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I think I enjoy winning

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Six points from our last two matches is awesome. Tonight’s match was a lot of fun to watch. I certainly wouldn’t call it a complete performance, but we’re making the right moves in the right direction.

It’s safe to expect teams to come out and try to absorb pressure then counter and Houston is a countering team. We attacked early and we attacked often to start. It was a smart game plan. To those naysayers with the cynicism toward me pointing out the positives in coaching on Saturday: what say you, now? Houston isn’t playing like trash and we pulled out a great win. Not a perfect win by any means, but it was a quality win with multiple run-of-play goals. I’ll take it.

It’s a long week

I asked for more of Kreilach playing higher up the field in more of an attacking role on Saturday after he put in some gorgeous play. Tonight, he did it again. I, and many of you, have been asking for formation changes through the season and I still think it might be a great move to take advantage of our pieces; or, to put it another way, we need to stop doing the Jürgen Klinsmann thing. Let’s play our players where they play best.

And Bofo Saucedo? Damn, another killer performance from him. He is taking the chances he’s given and doing spectacular work. He put it all out there in both offense and defense. It’s awesome to see our academy players doing so well.

Sunny was a highlight once again. I was frustrated with his giveaways on Saturday, but tonight I counted only one and it was early. He tightened up his play and was absolutely solid for us tonight.

Nick Besler moved up to a more natural position and put in a solid shift. Acosta once again showed how great it is to have an actual left back playing left back. Rimando did Rimando things. There were a lot of wonderful individual efforts. Oh, oh! And Kyle Beckerman coming in as a sub and scoring the game-winner? Awesome.

Saturday?

Seattle again. They didn’t play tonight, but we’ve got them at home, but they’re desperate, but we’re gaining momentum, but we still have some issues that they can exploit.

Let’s talk for a moment about those issues. I wouldn’t pin them on any individuals; instead, the concerns are questions for the team.

We seem to be able to put in a total of forty-five strong minutes each night, but we struggle for the other half. They’re not contiguous, but are spread our among the halves. Tonight we came on strong for the first thirty to thirty-five minutes, but let Houston take control until the half. They came into the second half with that same momentum, but we snatched it back and prevailed.

If this team can put in a full ninety as strong as the first thirty, we’ll be a powerhouse. It’s a mindset and mentality issue, and players can really take some cues from what Bofo and Sunny have shown the past two matches. They’re leaving it all out there all the time. We need that from everyone.

Overreactions

Next year we’ll play the Sounders twice a week for a month. It’ll be so rad. But seriously. Who scheduled this?

I could have sworn Houston already played the New England Revolution tonight. Those are Dynamo kits, right? Oh. It wasn’t enough that Atlanta stole their entire look from DC, now they have to steal from Houston, too. I see. They’ll be in rave green soon, I’m sure.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at New England Revolution Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports