Unbeaten home streak snapped

5 kicks from Houston Dynamo's 1-3 loss to LAFC

Alberth Elis was frustrated by defenders in the Houston Dynamo's 1-3 loss to LAFC. Credit: Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo lost their first MLS home match of the year by way of a 1-3 result to league leaders Los Angeles Football Club. The Dynamo ended the weekend in 8th place, just outside of the seven playoff spots, with 15 matches left to play.

Here are five observations:

1) Golden opportunity squashed

There wasn't a better time to defeat the league's most dominant team. The record-setting LAFC, who entered this match with a league-high 50 goals in favor and a league-low 16 goals against, were on less than 48 hours rest since their U.S. Open Cup elimination and left MLS top-goalscorer and top-assist man Carlos Vela on the bench.

The trio of Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto - the Dynamo's best attacking combination - generated plenty of opportunities in the first half, enough to have helped decide the result in their favor. The problems were effectiveness with the shots they had, seven of the Dynamo's 13 total shots were off target, and generating fewer opportunities in the second half.

Not putting the game away allowed LAFC to get back into the match with goals in first half stoppage time and four minutes after the start of the second half. Once they obtained the lead, LAFC used ball control to tire the Dynamo in their house and, eventually, ice the game with a third goal in the 88th minute.

2) Quioto gets second goal in as many games

Forward Romell Quioto broke his scoring drought with a penalty in the previous match at FC Cincinnati. He followed it up by opening the scoring three minutes into this match.

With renewed confidence, Quioto was more aggressive inside the box and showed his best form this season. The Honduran, however, has been unable to find a long consistent run of good form throughout his time in Houston - even weeks before his 28th birthday.

A better Quioto can allow the Dynamo to offset some of the extra defending on Alberth Elis and open the attack through the other side of the field. Until that happens, it's the Alberth Elis show that will make, or break, Houston's season.

3) Elis shut down by MLS-best defense

If you want a how to on how to defend Alberth Elis, the Dynamo's MVP candidate this season, go and watch the replay of this match. The 23-year-old winger hit the woodwork in the first minute of play but was otherwise neutralized by LAFC's stingy defense.

The defensive plays of the game came in the 26th minute with Mohamed El-Munir committed to denying Elis until the last possible instance. Goalkeeper Tyler Miller denied an Elis chip in the 28th minute and blocked a rebound opportunity in the 40th minute.

Elis had a great heading opportunity in the 82nd but did not connect with enough power, ending in a routine save from Miller. Aside from those opportunities, defenders cut off all other attempts to find the Honduran and a frustrated Elis usually doesn't end in good results for the Dynamo.

4) Cooler heads prevail

By all accounts, the Dynamo should have won this match. The difference came with the calm, cool composure in game management and that's were former U.S. Men's National Team Manager Bob Bradley bested Dynamo Manager Wilmer Cabrera.

While Cabrera and his staff complained to referees on multiple calls, a common occurrence on Dynamo matchdays at BBVA Stadium, Bradley never let his team feel pressured - even after going down 1-0 early.

LAFC patiently held on and worked their way into the scoreboard while the Dynamo lost a game where an early lead should have led to a win. There's enough matches, and postgame press conferences, over the course of the past year to see this as a trend.

5) Difference in standards

LAFC has risen to become one of the model franchises in MLS just two years into existence. That standard is something that was reflected on the field with an alternate lineup that played true to their style and never let up - their goals came at opportune times of the match like first half stoppage time.

The Dynamo, on the other hand, lack some of the professional qualities that LAFC showed - depth, talented players and a strong mentality. With a lack of accountability throughout the club, it's tough to see that changing in the coming weeks despite the availability of the summer transfer window (Houston has had one incoming signing in 2018 and two in 2017).

With only the addition of Chilean defender Jose Bizama confirmed so far, it's difficult to see how the Dynamo will combat a run of six losses in their last eight games. With nine of the remaining 15 matches on the road, it's tough to see the Dynamo making the playoffs.

Dynamo player of the game: Matias Vera

Defensive midfielder Matias Vera delivered another solid game in midfield and was one of the players that stood out despite the result.

Next up:

Wednesday, July 17 at Atlanta United FC (6:00 p.m. CT, KUBE57/TeleXitos 47.2)

Mauro Manotas scored twice to put a stop to the Dynamo's four-match losing streak. (Credit: Houston Dynamo)

The Houston Dynamo put an end to a four-match losing streak with a 2-2 result at home against the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. It was the first match under Interim Head Coach Davy Arnaud after the firing of the previous manager earlier in the week. In the bigger picture of still making the playoffs, the Dynamo will need to start winning again and see results fall their way as soon as possible. The team's next match is Sunday (7:00 p.m.) at rival FC Dallas.

The Women's local team, the Houston Dash, had a bye week and will be back at home against Sky Blue FC and former Dash Carli Lloyd on Saturday night.

The Leagues Cup tournament continues with Mexican powerhouses Tigres UANL and Club America facing off in the semifinals at BBVA Stadium on Tuesday night. The match has been announced as sold out however tickets are still being sold - the cheapest being a $45 standing room only ticket.

Here are the rest of the top stories from the past week:

English Premier League

Every goal from Premier League 2019/20 Matchweek 2 | NBC Sports www.youtube.com

Matchday 2 Results

  • Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
  • Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
  • Brighton 1-1 West Ham
  • Everton 1-0 Watford
  • Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle
  • Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth
  • Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham
  • Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace
  • Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City
  • Wolverhampton 1-1 Manchester United

Spanish La Liga

Highlights Athletic Club vs FC Barcelona (1-0) www.youtube.com

Matchday 1 Results

  • Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona
  • Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid
  • Valencia 1-1 Real Sociedad
  • RCD Mallorca 2-1 Eibar
  • Leganes 0-1 Osasuna
  • Villareal 4-4 Granada
  • Alaves 1-0 Levante
  • Espanyol 0-2 Sevilla
  • Real Betis 1-2 Valladolid
  • Atletico Madrid 1-0 Getafe

German Bundesliga

Emotional Fan Choreography - Union Berlin's Touching Tribute To Deceased Fans www.youtube.com

Matchday 1 Results

  • Bayern Munich 2-2 Hertha Berlin
  • Freiburg 3-0 Mainz
  • Dortmund 5-1 Augsburg
  • Wolfsburg 2-0 Cologne
  • Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Paderborn
  • Werder Bremen 1-3 Fortuna
  • Mönchengladbach 0-0 Schalke 04
  • Eintracht 1-0 Hoffenheim
  • Union Berlin 0-4 RB Leipzig

French Ligue 1

Matchday 2 - Top Results

  • Lyon 6-0 Angers
  • Nantes 0-0 Marseille
  • Metz 3-0 Monaco
  • Amiens 1-0 Lille
  • Rennes 2-1 PSG

Netherlands Eredivisie

Matchday 3 - Top Results

  • VVV-Venlo 1-4 Ajax
  • AZ Alkmaar 0-0 Groningen
  • Feyenoord 1-1 Utrecht
  • Heracles 0-2 PSV
Major League Soccer

LAFC became the first club of the 2019 season that has clinched a spot in the playoffs. Atlanta United had a big week, winning the Campeones Cup (MLS vs. Liga MX Supercup) 3-2 over Club America on Wednesday, that finished with a 2-0 away win at Portland Timbers in an MLS Cup 2018 rematch.

This following week features plenty of rivalry games including LAFC vs. LA Galaxy and Dallas vs. Houston in the Texas Derby.

East top seven: 1. Atlanta (45), 2. Philadelphia (45), 3. NYCFC (41), 4. D.C. United (39), 5. NY Red Bulls (38), 6. New England (35), 7. Montreal (34)

West top seven: 1. x - LAFC (58), 2. Minnesota (42), 3. LA Galaxy (41), 4. Real Salt Lake (40), 5. Seattle (40), 6. San Jose (38), 7. Portland (37)

Scoring leader: 24 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 16 - Maxi Morales (NYCFC)


Liga MX

Top Eight: 1. Queretaro (13), 2. Club America (13), 3. Santos Laguna (12), 4. Tigres UANL (10), 5. Pumas (9), 6. Monterrey 9), 7. Atlas (9), 8. Cruz Azul (8)

Scoring leader: 4 - 4 players tied

Assists leader: 4 - Luis Quinones (Tigres)

Superliga Argentina

El debut de De Rossi en la Bombonera www.youtube.com

Roma legend De Rossi made his long awaited debut at home for Boca Juniors in the 2-0 league win over Aldosivi. The 18-year Serie A veteran could make his debut in Copa Libertadores on Wednesday.

Matchday 3 - Top Results

  • Newell's 2-0 Union
  • San Lorenzo 2-2 Rosario Central
  • Racing Club 1-6 River Plate
  • Defensa y Justicia 0-3 Arsenal Sarandi
  • Boca Juniors 2-0 Aldosivi
  • Estudiantes 3-0 Independiente

National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. Portland Thorns (33), 2. Chicago Red Stars (29), 3. North Carolina Courage (28), 4. Utah Royals (27), 5. Reign FC (27), 6. Houston Dash (22), 7. Washington Spirit (21), 8. Sky Blue FC (13), 9. Orlando Pride (11)

Scoring leader: 12 - Sam Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 5 - Lynn Williams (North Carolina) / Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

------------

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, August 20

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Gremio vs. Palmeiras (beIN Sports)

7:30 p.m. - [Leagues Cup] Club America vs. Tigres (ESPN2, TUDN)

9:30 p.m. - [Leagues Cup] LA Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul (ESPN2, TUDN)

Wednesday, August 21

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] LDU Quito vs. Boca Juniors (beIN Sports)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] DC United vs. NY Red Bulls (UniMas, TUDN)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] Flamengo vs. Internacional (beIN Sports)

9:30 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (UniMas, TUDN)

Thursday, August 22

5:15 p.m. - [Copa Libertadores] River Plate vs. Cerro Porteño (beIN Sports)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Sudamericana] Corinthians vs. Fluminense (beIN Sports)

8:30 p.m. - [MLS] Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United (ESPN)

Friday, August 23

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Koln vs. Borussia Dortmund (FS2)

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Aston Villa vs. Everton (NBC Sports)

3:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Levante vs. Villarreal (beIN Sports)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] Orlando City vs. Atlanta United (ESPN)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders (ESPN)

Saturday, August 24

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Norwich vs. Chelsea (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Dusseldorf vs. Bayer Leverkusen (FS1, TUDN)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. Arsenal (NBC)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke vs. Bayern Munich (FS1, TUDN)

12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Valladolid (beIN Sports)

6:00 p.m. - [MLS] NYCFC vs. NY Red Bulls (ESPN2)

7:30 p.m. - [NWSL] Houston Dash vs. Sky Blue FC (YahooSports.com)

Sunday, August 18

8:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Bournemouth vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

10:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports)

12:00 p.m. - [La Liga] Leganes vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

3:00 p.m. - [NWSL] Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars (ESPNews)

5:00 p.m. - [MLS] FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew (FS1)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS] FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo (FS1)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (FS1)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome