Elis returns for rivalry match
5 kicks from Houston Dynamo's 1-1 draw with Sporting KC
The Houston Dynamo were held to a 1-1 draw by rivals Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. On a night where Booker T's Reality of Wrestling hosted a show outside the stadium prior to the match, Alberth Elis came up with his best "scissors kick" to secure a point at home.
Here are five observations from the draw:
1) Elis continues to show his worth
MLS All-Star candidate Alberth Elis missed the previous match due to a concussion sustained two weeks ago in a home win against D.C. United. It took him a little while to get into this game but, once he did, he ended up salvaging what could've been a worse result.
The 23-year-old Honduran has been the engine behind the Dynamo's 21 goals this season. He appears on the stat sheet with five goals and six assists but has been influential on 15 occasions that the team has found the back of the net.
Fans continue to worry about the uncertainty of his future with the team with the expectation that a European team may pry him away this summer. Whether the future sees him depart or stay, the Dynamo would not as good as the have been, so far, without him.
2) Attacking trio shows rust
The Dynamo featured forwards Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto in the starting lineup for only the third time this year in regular season play, sixth across all competitions. Their previous start was short lived after Elis left the match with a concussion 10 minutes into the match.
On Saturday night, there was evidence of how dangerous the Dynamo can be with their three best attacking players on the field. They were rusty, however, and could never deliver the final result.
This attacking trio can be one of the most fearful in the league again, if and when they finally are able to garner some consistency. Elis and Quioto now head to international duty with Honduras and what happens upon their return is a wild guess.
3) Midfield maestro MIA
Tomas Martinez arrived with plenty of pomp and circumstance in the summer of 2017. Dynamo fan was enthusiastic to finally get the number 10 that they clammored so much for and even more so in one that was a product of one of Argentina's top clubs.
The former River Plate youngster had his best season for the Dynamo last year with a team-high 13 assists. This year, is a different story.
Martinez's one assist is unacceptable 13 games into the season and a solid indicator that the man responsible for creating chances is having a rough go at it. The wins prior were able to mask his absence but, with games getting more challenging as the season rolls on, the Dynamo are going to need more effectiveness out of their midfield - whether that comes from Martinez or elsewhere.
4) Defense getting shaky
The defense has to be looking as Satuday's draw as a loss. Kansas City only generated five shots, only one on target, but that's all they needed to take a point.
A main point of emphasis in the offseason, the defense has improved from their counterparts last season. The bad news is they are still a sure bet for giving up at least a goal per game.
The Dynamo will lose three of their defenders on the international break: Kiki Stuna, Maynor Figueroa and A.J. DeLaGarza. Frankly, it may be tough times ahead with a stacked summer schedule.
5) Halfway through the home schedule
The Dynamo have played half of their home schedule as of Saturday. They hold an undefeated home record of 6-0-3 and have picked up 21 of their 24 points inside the friendly confines of BBVA Compass Stadium.
Now comes the challenging part of the schedule with three straight road games awaiting the Dynamo at the end of this month. They'll have a bit more balanced schedule in July but their depth will be tested by the international call ups.
Dynamo player of the game: Alberth Elis
Tuesday, June 11 vs. Austin Bold (7:00 p.m. CT, ESPN+)