Preview: Desperate Dynamo look to dispatch Revs at home
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
September 29, 2012 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #287)
7:30 p.m. CT (FS-HOU+/MultiM-- TVA)
The Houston Dynamo kick off a crucial three-game homestand when they play host to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are grimly hanging on to fifth place in the Eastern Conference and the final playoff spot following a 3-1 loss at Philadelphia last weekend, still riding the second-longest home unbeaten streak in MLS history. The Revolution hit the road coming off a dramatic, last-gasp 1-1 draw with regional rival New York.
REFEREE: Drew Fischer. SAR (bench): George Gansner-- JAR (opposite): Jonathan Johnson-- 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 5 games-- FC/gm: 29.4-- Y/gm: 2.2-- R: 0-- pens: 0
- HOUSTON DYNAMO -- QUESTIONABLE: DF Nathan Sturgis (R ankle sprain)-- MF Giles Barnes (R quad strain)-- PROBABLE: DF Corey Ashe (L hamstring strain) ;
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: DF Flo Lechner (R knee MCL sprain)-- MF Lee Nguyen (R shoulder surgery)-- DF Tyler Polak (R foot sprain)-- FW Saer Sene (L knee ACL surgery)-- DF Chris Tierney (L knee sprain / L hamstring strain)-- DOUBTFUL: MF Clyde Simms (R calf tightness)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Corey Ashe, Bobby Boswell, Calen Carr, Brad Davis, Macoumba Kandji ; NE: Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares
ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 12 goals ; Revolution 6 wins, 18 goals ; Ties 5
- AT HOUSTON (6 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 3 goals ; Revolution 4 wins, 7 goals ; Ties 1The teams are meeting for the second time this year. Luiz Camargo's goal in the 87th minute overcame a brace from New England's Saer Sene to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw, May 19 in New England.
- The Dynamo's 1-0 win last year in their final meeting at Robertson Stadium was their first-ever home win vs. New England. The Revs had won on four consecutive trips to Houston.
- The teams have played for three cups. They met in back-to-back MLS Cup Finals in 2006 and 2007, the Dynamo winning on both occasions (on penalty kicks in MLS Cup 2006-- 2-1 in MLS Cup 2007). They also met in the 2008 SuperLiga final (won by New England on penalties).
- Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P1 W0 L0 T1 ; Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P13 W2 L6 T5
LAST MEETING (MLS):
5/19: NE 2, HOU 2 (Sene 26, 57 -- Bruin 32-- Camargo 87)
- The Revolution took the lead on 25 minutes. Referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot after Brad Davis clattered into Saer SËne in the area, and SËne took the ball and tucked home his fifth goal of the season.
- The Dynamo were level six minutes later as Davis served up his first assist of the season, swinging a free kick that Will Bruin nodded home for his fifth goal of the season before Matt Reis could clear it.
- The Revs struck against the run of play for a second time to grasp the lead. Sene robbed defender Geoff Cameron of possession in the middle third and surged down the left into the Dynamo penalty area, capping off the one-man move by thumping home his second of the night past goalkeeper Tally Hall at the near post.
- Yet the Dynamo came back to secure a draw with three minutes remaining. Brian Ching and Luiz Camargo played a quick one-two on the edge of the Revolution penalty area with the forward clipping the ball over the New England back four into Camargo's path on the left side of the penalty area, and the Brazilian midfielder kept his composure and polished off the move with his first MLS goal.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-3-1-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Lee Nguyen, Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber (Fernando Cardenas 77)- Ryan Guy - Blake Brettschneider, Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 74).
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Jermaine Taylor, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Calen Carr (Macoumba Kandji 76), Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Camargo 66), Brad Davis (Colin Clark 70) - Will Bruin, Brian Ching.
The Houston Dynamo saw their road winless streak extended, falling to a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia Union on Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points from 30 games.
- Union took the lead in the 28th minute. Right back Ray Gaddis made a marauding run up the field and put in a cross that eventually found its way to Freddy Adu beyond the far post. Adu then cut the ball in front of goal and beat Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall to the near post.
- The Dynamo pulled level just a minute before halftime when Boniek Garc"a hit a beautiful strike off the post and in, following a great feed from Will Bruin, who sucked both defenders to him in the middle of the box.
- Adu netted his second goal of game when he banged home a 50th-minute penalty kick after AndrÈ Hainault dragged down Philly's Sheanon Williams in the box. Adu then left the game while clutching his left leg, replaced by Keon Daniel.
- Josue Martinez capped the victory in the 71th minute when he got his foot on a blast from center back Amobi Okugo and took another touch to beat Hall right in front of the net.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Andre Hainault came into the back four in place of Corey Ashe.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-3): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Andre Hainault (Cam Weaver 81), Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Luiz Camargo (Giles Barnes 63), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin, Macoumba Kandji (Calen Carr 46).
- The Dynamo went for a fourth consecutive road match without a victory, and have now won just once in their last seven league matches overall.
- "The passing wasn't good and on the road you need to keep the ball," head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "To lose possession as much as we did it puts you under pressure. It was an opportunity missed for us to close the gap on some teams and pull away from others ; We just couldn't get on track."
- Said goalkeeper Tally Hall: "This is the game that we looked at that needs to be three points. Coming out of here with zero in a tight playoff race, there's no excuse for how the result went. We want to be a championship team; we've got to beat that team. With a performance like that, I'd expect the coach to be disappointed."
- After their Aug. 3 win vs. New York, the Dynamo were tied for the Eastern Conference lead. After the current seven-game spell, they now sit in fifth place in the division, holding onto the final playoff spot by a single point.
- "I think the mentality has to be that [the three straight home games] all have to be wins," Brad Davis said. "With where we're at [in the standings] and what's going on, our destiny's in our own hands and if we get nine points at home we're in pretty good position for the playoffs and maybe jump up a little bit."
- Said forward Will Bruin: "We've got three at home and we've been tough at home and we've got to keep it going more than ever. This is going to make or break us these three games at home. We've got to come out with fire. We can't take anything lightly ; We want to improve our position and that starts with getting three points."
- Since a string of seven matches where the Dynamo recorded six shutouts, they have allowed 12 goals in seven games, conceding multiple goals four times.
- "Obviously, there was miscommunication on the first [goal]. Their first one was important. To go down in that manner is frustrating, so it's off to a bad start and it's hard to recover," said Hall. "I mean, again, same situation, we go down early in the second half and we've got to scramble to make corrections and to find a result and it's a frustrating game."
- Boniek Garcia scored his second goal since coming to the club, his first having come on July 15. Over his last five games, Garcia has a goal and three assists.
- Kofi Sarkodie made a third consecutive start at right back and collected his first career assist in MLS play.
- The New England game kicks off a series of three consecutive home matches for the Dynamo -- where they have not lost in league play this season.
- The Dynamo's home unbeaten streak sits at 22 games in league play, tying the Columbus Crew (2008-09) for the second-longest in MLS history. Real Salt Lake's 29-game streak from 2009-11 is the league record.
- "We're in a playoff push, of course, so we're not pointing fingers at anyone else but ourselves, but it's got to be better than this. There's not many games left to make up points because we're not in a good spot," said defender Andre Hainault. Added Hall: "We're still in the driver's seat. Our destiny is in our hands, as the clichÈ goes."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution continued their home success against the New York Red Bulls, coming back for a dramatic equalizer as the teams finished in a 1-1 draw Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 29 points from 30 games.
- The Red Bulls were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute when Connor Lade was forced to haul down Benny Felihaber for his second bookable offense.
- The match looked destined for a scoreless draw until bedlam broke out in second-half stoppage time. Joel Lindpere handed the Red Bulls the lead a minute into second-half stoppage time with an opportunistic header after the Revs struggled to clear a Wilman Conde cross.
- But Darrius Barnes snatched a point in the final moments with his header from a Ryan Guy cross from the right side, his first professional goal for the 1-1 draw.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-1 decision to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Bobby Shuttleworth came in between the posts in place of Matt Reis, and A.J. Soares started in the back four for Stephen McCarthy.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Bobby Shuttleworth - Florian Lechner (Stephen McCarthy 35), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms (Juan Toja 58), Ryan Guy, Lee Nguyen - Diego Fagundez (Benny Feilhaber 73), Jerry Bengtson.
- The late equalizer meant that New York still has not won in New England for 10 years, now 16 matches without a victory.
- "We are in the process of building something. We took a lot of steps forward-- we've obviously taken a few steps back," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. "I wanted to be fighting for the playoffs right now, but we're not. But that doesn't mean, day-in and day-out, pushing the best teams in this league. And that's something we pride ourselves on."
- For center back Darrius Barnes, the goal was his first in 88 MLS league appearances, and came as he made a fourth consecutive start.
- "I keep telling Jay I'm a target forward. He doesn't believe me," said Barnes. " ; Finally. It kind of felt like LeBron (James) winning his first championship. It's been a long time coming."
- Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made his third league start of the season, his first since making starts in consecutive games July 8-14.
- "It seems like the past couple of seasons I seem to get a run of games here at the end. ; It's nice to get a nice run of games where I can kind of get some momentum going and get comfortable and try and be consistent in there," said Shuttleworth.
- Said Heaps: "We're at a place now where Bobby's fully healthy and we're getting a chance to see him over ; a number of games, but I wanted to let him know he has a couple of chances to really show where his trajectory is going to be. Whether it's top-class goalkeeper where we think he can go, he needs time. He needs opportunity and tonight was about getting him that."
- A.J. Soares also made his return to the lineup after a three-match absence. "We know A.J.'s been fighting hard all season and tonight was about rotation. We're going to see some more players over the next couple of weeks, as well."
- Making his fourth consecutive start on the right side of the back four, Flo Lechner was forced from the field before halftime with a right knee sprain.
- "That hurt our attacking subs later. Flo Lechner's played really well. There isn't a more disappointed guy in that locker room than Flo. Same thing happened to us against Toronto. When you lose a defender in the first half, you're forced to make the sub, change it a little bit," said Heaps. "But then when we wanted to bring one more attacking player on and switch up the formation, we couldn't get to that 3-5-2 that we really wanted to because our attacking players were already subbed on."
- After the match, midfielder Lee Nguyen's season came to an end when he underwent surgery to repair the chronic instability in his right shoulder.
- "We've known that this surgery was going to happen for a couple of weeks," Heaps said. "The players didn't know, but once they realized that a guy who has been a consistent starter will be out of the lineup, [they realized] there's an opportunity there. You can see guys stepping up to want to get that chance."