What we learned vs. Houston Dynamo

Carl tells us what the 'Caps can take away from their first loss

Mattocks Nigel Houston Celebration

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

This was a tough loss to take. For the most part, our 'Caps played a good road game. We kept good possession at times and held a 1-0 lead into the second half, but Houston fought back to win 2-1.

WATCH: 2012 - Whitecaps FC vs. LA

WATCH: 2013 - Whitecaps FC vs. Houston

So what did we learn?

1. Killer instinct

This felt a lot like the playoff game against LA Galaxy last year.
 
Leading 1-0 in the second half, our 'Caps broke away and created a great chance to make the game 2-0, which would have given Houston a mountain to climb to get a result. 
 
Instead, we squandered the chance and they tied the game a couple of minutes later, with their winning goal coming soon after that. 
Yes we were very unlucky when Camilo hit both posts from a free kick late in the game, but to get to the next level we have to have that killer instinct on the road to kill teams off. 
 
2. Defending set pieces 
 
For all the good things we did right on the road, it was very frustrating to lose the winning goal the way we did. 
 
You expect the home team to have a decent amount of possession and you have to expect them to put you under a lot of pressure when they are a goal down. 
 
And for the most part we weathered the storm and even rode our luck a little, which you need away from home. 
 
But to concede from a corner kick the way we did really hurts. Nobody attacked the ball as it bounced inside our six-yard box. It meant Houston were gifted a goal after all our hard work, and that is a tough way to lose.
 
 
3. Road glory
 
We showed a lot of things that suggest we can have a lot of success on the road. 
 
I thought we had a lot of good possession, especially the first half, and we always looked dangerous on the break. 
 
Defensively, we kept our shape well and limited Houston to few quality chances. 
 
I felt we really looked comfortable and composed considering we were the road team, and this performance should give the staff and players a lot of confidence that we can get many positive results on our travels this season.