Dynamo Take Care of Business

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | View Comments

Last night, the Houston Dynamo did what an elite MLS club is supposed to do at home against lesser competition in the CONCACAF Champions League: they dominated.

Houston took care of Panamanian side Arabe Unido 5-1 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, with midfielder Stuart Holden picking up a brace. Houston now sits in second place in their group, tied with Arabe Unido on seven points but ahead of the Panamanians on goal differential.

It's nice to see an MLS side step up and play to their potential in this tournament. Home field advantage certainly had something to do with it, though the crowd of 6,000+ (the official attendance) played little part in the way the Dynamo played. Eddie Robinson returned to the Houston lineup after an injury stint and sparked his club, and several other players imposed themselves on the match. Arabe Unido's red card in the fifty-sixth minute opened up the match and gave Don Kinnear's squad the advantage, which they fully exploited.

With two group matches remaining, the Dynamo look like reasonable bets to progress. They host group leaders Pachuca next week with an opportunity to overtake the Mexican club, though even a draw would be satisfactory; the last time the teams met, in Pachuca, the Mexicans beat their MLS competition 2-0. If the Dynamo are unable to get any points against Pachuca, and Arabe Unido beats last place Metapan, the Panamanians will leapfrog Houston into second place. That could make for a very nervy final group match day, with the Dynamo needing a road win against Metapan to give themselves a chance to advance.

MLS is taking small steps in this year's CONCACAF Champions League; the Columbus Crew managed the first ever MLS win in Costa Rica, and the Dynamo are taking care of business to this point. While DC United is not yet eliminated from their group, they have given themselves a much hard road, and can't be counted on to get through; that leaves the reputation of the league up to the defending league champ and the perennial contender.

MLS fans, aside from perhaps Crew supporters, should be solidly behind the Dynamo. They took care of business last night, setting up an intriguing showdown and chance for revenge against Pachuca next week.
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