5 Things We Learned from Dynamo's Opening Day Win
That's how long it's been since the Houston Dynamo last won an Opening Day game, a 5-2 victory in their inaugural game against the Colorado Rapids. The hero then was Brian Ching, who put in a memorable four-goal performance.
Sunday night, the Orange revisited the Home Depot Center -- the same venue where the LA Galaxy beat them for the MLS Cup last November. This time, they bested Chivas USA 1-0 on a stoppage-time goal at the end of regulation by Andre Hainault. The last time the Dynamo won on Opening Day, they won the MLS Cup. Stats don't lie.
Now it's way too early to predict a championship, but Hair Balls can tell you five things we took from Sunday's match.
5. Hainault, goal scorer?
For years, head coach Dominic Kinnear has been trying to find the right person to partner alongside Ching up top. It appears the best choice may be Hainault. The Canadian defenseman seems to be on fire as of late. He was instrumental in the Dynamo's run to the MLS Cup with two postseason goals. And in 2012, he was the first Dynamo to get on the scorer's board with his stoppage-time goal. Maybe, just maybe, the Orange's best striker is the redheaded beast of the backline.
4. Defense pitching a shutout
Officially, goalkeeper Tally Hall gets the shutout. But the accolades should go to the stout play of the back four. Even though Chivas played with only one striker, they never really tested Hall. He only had to make two saves on the night, which is more of a testament to the defense. The Dynamo kept Chivas striker Juan Pablo Angel for the majority of the match, and rendered their attack useless. The same back four that the Dynamo rode to last season's finale seems poised for a strong 2012.
3. Strikers not yet clicking
What isn't clicking is the offense. The Dynamo severely outshot the home team, which has more to say about Chivas's ineptitude to do much of anything. Still, the Dynamo forwards had their opportunities to blow this game wide open, missing one-on-one chances against Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. The Dynamo offense will still go through Brad Davis once again, and they will rely on set pieces for the bulk of their offense. But the forwards have to find the back of the net more often than the defensive players.