Preview: Houston continue road trip at Columbus
COLUMBUS CREW vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
April 21, 2012 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #57)
7:30 p.m. ET (FS-OH; KPRC-2)
The next stop on the Houston Dynamo's season-opening road show is Crew Stadium, where they meet the Columbus Crew in an Eastern Conference encounter. The Crew are coming off back-to-back losses, last a 1-0 defeat by Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. The Dynamo came off a two-week layoff last weekend, playing to a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire in a weather-shortened match at Toyota Park.
REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Jeff Muschik; JAR (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 16 games; FC/gm: 23.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 5; pens: 10
- COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Ben Speas (sports hernia rehab); DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); DF Julius James (illness); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); DOUBTFUL: MF Dilly Duka (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); MF Kevan George (concussion); PROBABLE: DF Carlos Mendes (R hamstring strain)
- HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: MF Brad Davis (L calf strain); FW Brian Ownby (L elbow dislocation)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: HOU: Colin Clark (through April 28)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 15 goals ... Dynamo 2 wins, 11 goals ... Ties 6
AT COLUMBUS (6 meetings): Crew 3 wins, 10 goals ... Dynamo 1 win, 6 goals ... Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 8/19: Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew, 8 p.m. CT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/18: HOU 0, CLB 2 (Mendoza 41; Anor 77)
9/14: CLB 2, HOU 2 (Mendoza 64, 76 ñ Watson 34; Carr 86)
- The Dynamo haven't defeated the Crew since a 2-0 win Aug. 2, 2008. The Crew have won three of the last six meetings, with three draws.
- The Crew had a three-game winning streak vs. Houston at Crew Stadium before the clubs played to a 2-2 draw in the second meeting a year ago.
- The Crew's win at Robertson Stadium last year was their first ever. The teams had played to draws in four of the first five encounters there; the Dynamo won 2-0 on Aug. 2, 2008.
- Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. HOU: P6 W3 L0 D3 ... Dominic Kinnear vs. CLB: P16 W4 L6 D6
The Columbus Crew lost for the second time in as many games, going to a 1-0 defeat by Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. The Crew sit in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 5 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Crew drop a close one in Philly
- The game's only goal came in the 38th minute. A shot from Philadelphia's Freddy Adu hit the hand of the Crew's Eric Gehrig, and referee Michael Kennedy pointed to the spot. Gabriel GÛmez then finished off the penalty kick.
- Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was called upon to make just one save on the afternoon behind a makeshift Union defense.
- Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made two changes to the team that fell to a 4-1 defeat by the New York Red Bulls at Crew Stadium. Ethan Finlay came into the midfield for Bernardo Anor, and Aaron Schoenfeld started up top in place of Emilio Renteria.
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Eric Gehrig, Shaun Francis (Nemanja Vukovic 73) - Kirk Urso - Eddie Gaven, Milovan Mirosevic, Ethan Finlay (Bernardo Anor 65) - Aaron Schoenfeld (Emilio Renteria 68), Olman Vargas.
Black & Gold Breakdown: Columbus vs. Houston
- The Crew suffered their second consecutive loss, and were shut out for the first time since the season-opening 2-0 loss at Colorado.
- "Whether they're rookies or veterans on the team we have to match the intensity, especially away from home, and we did today," head coach Robert Warzycha said. "I was pleased by that. You can always question the quality because sometimes you can have a better pass, you can have a better finish, but compared to the game against New York at home we were much better."
- Rookie Aaron Schoenfeld was given his first MLS start, starting in place of Emilio Renter"a. Schoenfeld had come on as a substitute in the last three matches.
- "Emilio is a good forward but the last few games he had no goals," Warzycha said. "Maybe somebody else can get lucky and score goals." Said Schoenfeld: "We definitely had chances. I had chances. If I put one away early maybe a couple of other chances would have gone in."
- Rookie Ethan Finlay also made his first MLS start, coming into a wide midfield position in place of Bernardo Anor. Finlay had come on as a substitute in each of the first four games.
- "We weren't very good," Warzycha said. "I can't remember too many good crosses from the sides. I'm not really happy with our flank." Said goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum: "At times we were a little too direct. We need to sometimes just settle down and try to pick them apart."
- Warzycha was expecting to make a change in central defense, but Danny O'Rourke was not deemed to have recovered from an ankle injury and Eric Gehrig maintained his place in the team.
- "It's unbelievable that we have so many injuries at that one position," Warzycha said. "We'd probably be much better if we had everybody healthy. We'd be going game-to-game with guys that really have some experience but unfortunately for us we have injuries."
- The Crew learned goalkeeper William Hesmer will likely be out for the season after undergoing hip surgery last week. Hesmer has been the first-choice ëkeeper for the Crew for six seasons, the second-longest stretch with a single club among active MLS goalkeepers (behind New England's Matt Reis).
- "It's not easy for the guys in the back because every game is somebody different and trying to find the best fit," Warzycha said. "Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. It worked against Toronto [in a 1-0 win]. It didn't against New York [in a 4-1 loss]. What can we do?"
The Houston Dynamo returned to action following a two-week layoff with a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire in a match shortened to 65 minutes because of inclement weather on Sunday evening at Toyota Park. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 4 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Houston draw in rain-shortened match
- The match was stopped for the first time in the 13th minute by referee Geoff Gamble because of a bolt of lightning and the peal of thunder. The game was halted for 70 minutes before it resumed.
- In the 24th minute, the Dynamo broke through. Brian Ching peeled off the backline and sprung Will Bruin on a through ball that split the Fire center backs, and the second-year striker coolly beat Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson inside the right-hand post.
- Just three minutes later, the Fire found an equalizer. After Patrick Nyarko was taken down at the top of the box, a Pavel Pardo direct kick deflected off of the back of Logan Pause, curled over goalkeeper Tally Hall, hit the underside of the crossbar and down over the line.
- After 20 minutes in the second half, which included no shots on target, another bolt of lightning was sighted and Gamble pulled the players off the field for a final time. Under MLS rules, a match abandoned after the second half has kicked off is considered official.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Jermaine Taylor, Nathan Sturgis and Luiz Camargo came into the team, for the injured Brad Davis and the suspended Colin Clark and Adam Moffat.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Je-Vaughn Watson, Nathan Sturgis, Luiz Camargo (Calen Carr 63), Corey Ashe - Will Bruin, Brian Ching.
20 for 20: Geoff Cameron the Bartender
- The Fire-Dynamo game was the first since the 2000 season that was ended before the completion of 90 minutes and ruled an official game. The DC-KC game June 10, 2000 was stopped at halftime with the game scoreless, a result that stood.
- "I thought the team was playing its best soccer when the second lightning delay happened, so it was unfortunate that's when we started feeling our best," said goalkeeper Tally Hall. "When Calen [Carr] came in and within a couple minutes he was very dangerous. We were on our front foot, game stops and so be it."
- With three first-choice midfielders out through injury and suspension, Kinnear opted to start Luiz Camargo and Nathan Sturgis in the center of the park, and moved Corey Ashe forward to the left of midfield.
- Jermaine Taylor went back to left back, and Je-Vaughn Watson shifted out to the right of midfield.
- "There was a lot of movement in the back and in the midfield, but the back four was pretty strong with Jermaine adding to the backline like he has before," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Overall I was pretty happy with the way we went about it."
- A year ago, it took the Dynamo 11 games to reach the seven-point mark on the road. The best record with an extended road trip to open an MLS season is within view. The Columbus Crew took 11 points from their season-opening seven-game road trip to start 1999; the Chicago Fire took 10 points from 10 games in 2006.
- "Coming away with a result is a good thing, especially on the road and it's another point for us," Brian Ching said. "I always point to our record on the road last year and think we're off to a great start this year."
- Second-year striker Will Bruin collected his first goal of the season in Houston's 1-1 draw in Chicago. The Dynamo's first two goals this season were scored by a defender (AndrÈ Hainault) and midfielder (Brad Davis).
- "The longer you go without getting goals the more frustrated you become in yourself and the harder it gets," said Ching. "I think it's extremely important for a striker to get that first one. I was extremely happy for him. You could tell with the look on his face how much it meant."
- Brad Davis has not yet returned to full training and has been ruled out of this weekend's match.
- "We were told it is going to be two or three weeks and that's what we're looking at," Davis said. "I was able to push the workload a little bit more [Tuesday] but it's one of those things where you're walking a fine line with what you can do. I'm going to come back as soon as I can. [This weekend's] possible but if I'm not available for this weekend I'm very confident I'll be ready for the D.C. [United] game [on April 28]."