JOHN KRETLOW - Thursday, April 25, 2013
Despite a rough set of circumstances last week, the Houston Dynamo managed a come from behind draw on the road against Toronto FC.
With the point, Houston takes confidence and momentum into next week's clash with the Colorado Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Orange unfortunately lost midfielders Adam Moffat and Brad Davis due to injuries in the first half, and then went down to ten men early in the second half when defender Jermaine Taylor received a red card.
Nevertheless, the Dynamo made adjustments and notched a late goal to steal a point at BMO Field.
"I don't think it's our best performance, but we showed a lot of character to stick with it and keep working hard. It paid off," Ricardo Clark explained after a midweek practice.
"Everybody's work picks up. Communication has to be there. Talking has to be there. Organization has to be there," added the 30-year old..
Clark, who this season has played in a more advanced role in the midfield, was forced to adjust his position in the match.
"I slid into Adam's position, more of a defensive midfield once he came off the field."
Another pivotal player on the field was Andrew Driver, who was already filling in for the injured Oscar Boniek García.
"Obviously, it meant a lot to get something out of the game when we didn't really perform as well as we could. It's always a bonus especially down to ten men. (It) shows the fight we've got in the team," explained Driver.
Also, the weather conditions added another difficult element to last week's battle for both teams.
"I know it was the same thing for both teams, but the weather didn't help it too much. It was very windy," added Driver. "Cold temperature is fine, (but) it's just the wind. They were playing high balls, so the ball was going everywhere."
Despite the weather and red card though, the Dynamo knew that a hard working mentality was going to be needed.
"We did say we had to go fight in the game and it wasn't going to be pretty football. We had to stick out which we did and managed to get the result," continued Driver.
The hard work finally paid off for Houston, as Warren Creavalle notched the tying goal in stoppage time.
"It was great to salvage that point on the road. The boys battled hard until the end. It was unfortunate to go down a man early in the second half but it's good we got that point on the road," summarized Creavalle.
Now able to leave Canada with a point after everything, Houston feels a growing confidence moving forward.
"I mean, a point on the road is always good. Of course we wanted three points but, considering the circumstances I don't think we did too bad and, you know, we always want to take care of business when we come home and look for a good result," Clark continued on.