Preview: Dynamo, Sporting to face off in another rematch
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
July 18, 2012 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #186)
8:30 p.m. ET (MLS LIVE, FS-Hou/MultiM; KSMO)
The Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City meet for the second time in 11 days Wednesday, when the clubs face off at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo haven’t allowed a goal in three games, extending their home unbeaten streak with a 4-0 triumph against D.C. United last Sunday. Sporting are also on a shutout streak in their three-game unbeaten run, coming off a 2-0 win Saturday at Columbus.
REFEREE: Mark Kadlecik. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Jasen Anno
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 6; pens: 7
DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)
HOUSTON DYNAMO -- PROBABLE: MF Calen Carr (L hamstring strain); MF Je-Vaughn Watson (L adductor strain)
SPORTING KANSAS CITY – OUT: DF Korede Aiyegbusi (R knee sprain); DF Cyprian Hedrick (L fibula fracture); GK Jon Kempin (R ankle fracture); DOUBTFUL: DF Lawrence Olum (L groin strain); PROBABLE: FW Bobby Convey (L calf strain); MF Graham Zusi (R quad strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: KC: Roger Espinoza (Honduras, Olympic Games)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
- HOU: Calen Carr, Corey Ashe
- KC: Julio Cesar, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Jimmy Nielsen, Paulo Nagamura
ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 18 goals … Sporting 3 wins, 15 goals … Ties 5
AT HOUSTON (6 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals … Sporting 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 9/14: Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. CT (NBC SN)
•The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after playing to a scoreless draw on July 7 at Livestrong Sporting Park.
•The teams met in last year’s Eastern Conference Championship, won 2-0 by the Dynamo at Livestrong Sporting Park. It was the second time the teams had met with a trip to the MLS Cup Final on the line (also 2007, also won 2-0 by Houston).
•;After winning the first meeting ever between the clubs, April 8, 2006 at Robertson Stadium, Kansas City has not won in Houston. The Dynamo have won three of the six MLS league and cup meetings since at home (with three draws).
•In league play, Sporting have a four-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Houston, winning the two meetings in Kansas City before the first match draw this year.
•Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. KC: P19 W7 L5 D7 … Peter Vermes vs. HOU: P6 W2 L1 D3
HIGHLIGHTS: KC 0, HOU 0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
7/7: KC 0, HOU 0
•The closest either team came to scoring came in the 33rd minute, when Sporting's Jacob Peterson ripped a low shot off the left post.
•Houston had a chance to steal the game late, but it was thwarted when defender Aurélien Collin and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen combined to stop Brian Ownby’s shot in the 90th minute.
•Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall had four saves, while Nielsen was credited with two, for their respective shutouts.
•SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza - Jacob Peterson, Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara (Soony Saad 81) - C.J. Sapong (Teal Bunbury 68).
•HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-3): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Luiz Camargo (Warren Creavalle 66), Adam Moffat, Brad Davis - Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 66), Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ownby 80).
The Houston Dynamo extended their undefeated streak to four games overall, rolling to a 4-0 win against a 10-man D.C. United on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 28 points from 19 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 4, DC 0
•The match turned quickly. In the 17th minute, United 'keeper Bill Hamid charged out to cut down a Mac Kandji sprint in the box and took down the Dynamo striker, and referee Jasen Anno immediately pointed to the spot and also showed Hamid a red card. Brad Davis stepped up to rip the spot kick past a newly introduced Joe Willis.
•The Dynamo struck again just before halftime. After Boniek García played Luiz Camargo to the end line, the Brazilian took a touch and slid a pass past a lunging Willis, leaving an easy tap-in for a streaking Will Bruin.
•Houston made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute when Davis set Andre Hainault up on the right flank to deliver a well-crafted cross to a waiting García, and the Dynamo Designated Player headed home his first MLS goal.
•The Dynamo capped the night after Anno pointed to spot again in the 88th minute when Danny Cruz took down Calen Carr at the end line. Brian Ching stepped up to convert the second penalty of the night for the home side.
•Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Geoff Cameron came back into the midfield, in place of Adam Moffat.
•HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-3): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Luiz Camargo, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Je-Vaughn Watson 73) - Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 64), Macoumba Kandji (Calen Carr 64)
•The Dynamo have now gone eight league games without loss at BBVA Compass Stadium (5-0-3) and haven’t lost in league play at home in 17 matches, since June 18, 2011.
•The four-game undefeated run coincides with Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear’s shift to a 4-3-3 tactical scheme – which also saw the introduction of Garcia to the first XI.
•We are still trying to find our way through the system. Sometimes it seems like we know what we are doing and sometimes it seems like we are neither here nor there,” said Kinnear. “Both Mac and Oscar [Boniek Garcia] are a little bit different. Mac is dangerous running behind and Oscar causes trouble when he has the ball at his feet.”
•;Will Bruin scored his 10th goal of the season, pulling into a tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
•"We finished our chances and we’re starting to click in this formation and that’s a good thing,” said Bruin. “After not scoring in the last two games, it felt good to put four on the board – whether it’s against 10 men or not.” Said Macoumba Kandji: “This formation, we’re trying to get space on the wing. Today is the best that we’ve shown that and hopefully we keep on doing it.”
•Honduran international Boniek Garcia scored his first MLS goal, having made four consecutive starts for the club.
•"The space has to be created. It's part of my game plan. Luckily for me, there is a good understanding between my teammates and I. I'm blessed in the fact that they understand me, they know what I'm about and they help me create that space,” said Garcia.
•The Dynamo have also recorded shutouts in three consecutive matches, and have seven clean sheets for the season. All have come in consecutive matches (back-to-back shutouts twice earlier).
•"I think it's a group thing. They didn't have too many looks on goal. I think it's the whole team unit. Everyone is together,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “It's a team goal and when the team accomplishes that it's a beautiful thing. Goalkeepers get a lot of credit for shutouts but I can't take too much credit with the way the team is playing in front of me.”
•It was the second consecutive year – and third in the last four – the Dynamo have scored four goals in a win against D.C. United. It was the club’s largest margin of victory in a league game since a 4-0 win against Chivas USA on Aug. 20, 2008 at Robertson Stadium.
•“We talked about it before the game, as soon as he plays it, we could play a give-and-go and they’d have to deal with his speed,” fullback Corey Ashe said of Kandji. “Danny [Cruz] and [Chris] Pontius had to tuck in and, when the ball was on the right, Andre would have time and space, and when it was on the left, I’d have time and space. It was just isolating and keeping them moving. Even if we didn’t have the ball, they had to respect and it kind of wore them down.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City regained the top spot in the Eastern Conference, knocking off the Columbus Crew 2-0 on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. Sporting now have 36 points from 19 matches.
•The combination of Peterson and Peterson put Sporting into the lead in the sixth minute. Peterson Joseph threaded a perfect through-ball between three defenders near the top of the box for Jacob Peterson, and he cleanly slotted home past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
•SKC put the game away with eight minutes remaining. On a quick counter after a midfield interception, Kei Kamara slid a centering pass for Teal Bunbury to drive home from the heart of the area.
HIGHLIGHTS: CLB 0, KC 2
•Sporting head coach Peter Vermes made two changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo at Livestrong Sporting Park. Peterson Joseph came into the midfield for Graham Zusi, and Soony Saad 81 started up top in place of C.J. Sapong.
•SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Jimmy Nielsen - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza - Kei Kamara, Peterson Joseph (Michael Thomas 72), Jacob Peterson (C.J. Sapong 38) - Soony Saad (Teal Bunbury 52).
•After losing back-to-back games, Sporting have now won two of their last three in a three-game unbeaten run – both victories coming away from Livestrong Sporting Park.
•“I think we were really solid defensively, we didn’t give much away,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. “I think it was hard for them to break us down and I think they got a little frustrated. We scored a great goal early on, we talked about finding some seams in behind …in the end we defended very well we really grinded the game out and that was huge for us.”
•Jacob Peterson scored his second goal in the last three games – his third of the season – to send SKC on their way to the win in Columbus.
•“We came here in the middle of a 10-day road swing and we got the three points which is what we set out to do,” said Peterson. “We scored two great goals and Jimmy [Nielsen] made some good saves back there and it kept them out of the back of the net.”
•But there was a downside when Peterson was forced off before the end of the first half with an injury. “I saw him when I was walking in at halftime and I asked him how he was doing, and he said, ‘Ah, I’ll be OK,’” Vermes said. “I don’t know what that means. I don’t think that’s a technical medical term. … He’s a tough dude. I know he won’t prolong this thing by any means. He’ll try to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
•Making his second start of the season in the attacking midfield role, Peterson Joseph – the “Haitian Xavi” – recorded his first career MLS assist.
•“It was a fantastic through ball to hit Jake’s run,” Vermes said. “Great run by Jake as well, but that was a great through ball. At the end of the day, when you get a through ball and a finish like that, it puts a lot of pressure on them early in the game.”
•Soony Saad also returned to the starting lineup after four league appearances off the substitutes’ bench, his second start of the season (first since June 20).
• “Having to burn that sub in the first half, that hurt a little bit,” Vermes said. “We also had Soony (Saad) and (Peterson) Joseph that I knew wouldn’t be able to go 90 minutes, so I already knew that was two subs there. So that really put us in a bind, but at the end the guys did a great job and figured out a way to get it done.”
•Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen was credited with his eighth shutout of the season, tying him for the MLS lead with Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
•“I think they created their chances but unfortunately for them it wasn’t their night,” said Nielsen. “They hit the crossbar and had another few good chances but I am very happy with the win and with the way we reacted on the field. It is a performance to be proud of.”
•SKC’s Roger Espinoza left following the weekend’s matches to join the Honduras team for the 2012 London Olympic Games.