The confetti in the air and the rampant celebrations on the Home Depot Center field masked the pain felt in the Houston sideline.
It isn't easy to cope with a second consecutive MLS Cup defeat. But that is what had just happened to the Houston Dynamo . And the manner of the loss made it much, much harder.
"I think this year is different than last year," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said after the match. "To be honest with you, I want to cry or throw up, one of the two."
Both reactions were justified after the Dynamo opened the game as the better side by quite some distance. The visitors weren't awed by the big occasion or the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan or Robbie Keane. They accepted the challenge ahead and pursued it with vigor. They chased and pressed in the early stages as if they entered this match as the heavy favorites.
"We didn't want to come here, sit back, give them a bunch of space and let them play," Houston midfielder Brad Davis said. "We did well in what...