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A return to league action
Friday, 25 June 2010
After a three-week layoff from competitive play - and just as the World Cupís round of 16 starts - the Dynamo are back in business. Houston faces Colorado at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

04.19.09 Dynamo v. Colorado Rapids

Dynamo downtime
In truth, the time off came at a great time. The 4-1 trouncing by the LA Galaxy on June 5 [a loss so infuriating, I couldnít even get myself to write about it] sent the Men in Orange to their second three-game losing streak in team history. The players needed an opportunity to sort themselves out. Defensively, theyíve been leakier than a colander, an unusual trait for a team that has set MLS defensive records in recent seasons. For the most part, the team is the same though Ricardo Clarkís defensive half contributions are apparent now in his absence. Veterans like Bobby Boswell and Eddie Robinson in the middle, with recent starters Mike Chabala and Andrew Hainault on the wings, are showing well Ė indicating that the talent is there. Mental toughness and tactical discipline havenít been, which is extremely odd for a Dominic Kinnear-coached team. Injuries, as common now as they have been in years past, have added to the defensive weaknesses.

The Orange managed two victories in friendlies against USLís Laredo Heat and Salvadoran side CD Aguila. With only one goal allowed in those matches, fans can hope that the defense that steps out on the field tomorrow night resembles the one theyíve come to know over the previous four seasons.

The Rapids offense
The Colorado side probably wishes the World Cup never happened. Unlike the Dynamo, the Rapids were on a roll winning their last three games before the break. Like Houston, they have their own World Cup snub that provides offense. Conor Casey has managed five goals and two assists thus far this season, leading his team in both categories. The big, target forward is not the only forward to watch out for. The speedy Omar Cummings has notched three goals of his own this season, giving the Rapids a fast, target forward that many clubs seek. Cummingsí speed could threaten and expose the slow, unorganized Dynamo defense - and thatís putting it nicely.

As we move forward into the next phase of the season, thereís a hint of uncertainty amongst Houston fans. Inconsistent results have been worrying. Truthfully, this isnít an uncommon pattern. The Orange often goes through some rough patches before ripping off a long unbeaten streak that sends them toward the top of the league. The Dynamo has the ability to do it, but each time I think they will, they donít. Because of that, I canít predict a Dynamo win until they start putting together back-to-back solid performances.

Prediction:
Dynamo 2, Rapids 2

Season Prediction Record: 7-6