Owen Coyle has started life with the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer fairly well, with two wins, two draws and two defeats so far, and Saturday’s 3-0 win against the Montreal Impact saw Houston put in their most effective display yet.
Heading into the game, many expected Montreal to prove tough opposition, especially given their CONCACAF Champions League success in midweek but the Dynamo put in a highly effective performance to record their second victory of the season.
Coyle watched his side have just 34.6% of possession against Montreal and the Dynamo have now recorded the lowest average possession statistic in MLS this season after six weeks (44.2%).
They scored three times against the Impact from four shots on target and managed to keep a third clean sheet of the season despite allowing Montreal to five shots on target.
Their effectiveness without the ball is improving with each week as Coyle’s tactical approach is starting to shine through on the pitch.
English forward Giles Barnes is leading the attack well and has registered more than twice the number of shots than any other Houston player so far (16). He scored his second of the season against Montreal and the Dynamo have won both of the matches in which he has scored this season.
Coyle sets his team up to absorb pressure before hitting opponents on the counter-attack and that approach worked perfectly against Montreal.
It is still very much a work in progress as the Dynamo continue to adapt to the Scottish coach’s philosophies but they have picked up eight points from six games and have only lost one of their last four now.
They travel to DC United next before three consecutive home games and Coyle will see those as matches Houston need to pick up points in, especially with all three against Western Conference opposition.
The aim will be to make the playoffs at the end of the campaign, and although that will be a tough task in a highly competitive Western Conference, Coyle will be confident as his team should improve as the season progresses.
Designated Player signing, Erick Torres will join up with the squad in the summer, and his arrival should bring plenty of goals.
What have you made of Houston Dynamo under Owen Coyle so far? Will they make the MLS Playoffs this season?