Perhaps a coaching change is what will help the Houston Dynamo end their longest slide of 2019, and maybe even salvage something positive on a rough season.
Stuck seven points below the playoff line in the Western Conference, Houston (9-13-3) sacked head coach Wilmer Cabrera after 2 1/2 seasons this week - a notion that wasn't even a thought when the Dynamo opened 7-2-2. However, they've gone 2-11-1 since and are mired in a season-high four-game losing streak.
Cabrera, who guided Houston to the playoffs in 2017 and the U.S. Open Cup title last year, was 32-39-22 as coach. Assistant Davy Arnaud was named interim coach for the rest of the season while the club begins the search for a permanent manager.
"Looking over the last two months, past getting into too many specifics, there's a general consensus that the results over the last two months isn't a reflection of the quality of our roster," Dynamo senior vice president and general Matt Jordan said via the club's official website. "This is the same team that had the best start in club history ... We have a good team."
Christian Ramirez scored the equalizer just before halftime Sunday at Philadelphia, but the host Union went ahead in the 78th to hand Houston a 2-1 defeat.
"Our goal as a club is what we can do to affect this group in a positive way to turn this thing around," Arnaud said. "The small goal for us is to go out to be great in training tomorrow and prepare well the next day, with the ideal thing being to get a positive result on Saturday against Colorado."
Houston already has one positive result against Colorado (7-13-5) this season. Alberth Elis (seven goals, seven assists) had a goal with an assist and the Dynamo benefited from two Rapids' own goals to win 4-1 on the road March 30.
The Rapids are four points back of the Dynamo and looking to rebound from a 1-0 loss at Minnesota on Wednesday. Colorado had scored eight goals while winning its previous two contests, but was unable to find the scoresheet for the first time since April 27.
The outcome could actually have been worse had it not been for a strong effort from Colorado keeper Clint Irwin. Tim Howard's backup, and the expected future in goal for the Rapids, made eight saves, including off a penalty shot from Darwin Quintero.
"Clint was great," teammate Jonathan Lewis told the Rapids' official website. "It was just unfortunate. We've got to play with tempo (Saturday), and conserve ourselves to play 90 minutes."
Colorado star Kei Kamara scored one of his 11 goals this season against Houston.