MLS Match Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
March 30, 2013 (WEEK 5, MLS Game #40)
7:30 p.m. CT (KPRC-NBC; CSN-CA+)
The Houston Dynamo will be looking to equal Major League Soccer against an old foe, when the San Jose Earthquakes come to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening. The two teams share a common progeny, and it’s been a pitched rivalry since the Dynamo’s inception and the Quakes’ return. The Dynamo can extend their home unbeaten streak to an MLS-record 34 games; they are coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Vancouver. The Earthquakes hit the road after a 1-0 home win against Seattle, running their unbeaten streak to three games.
REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Armando Villarreal MLS Career: 9 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 4; pens: 4
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Mehdi Ballouchy
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 14 goals … Earthquakes 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 1
AT HOUSTON (4 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 8 goals … Earthquakes 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/17: SJ 0, HOU 1 (Davis 14)
- This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
- The Dynamo have won the last two meetings between the teams, including the only encounter a season ago, a 1-0 victory at AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 17.
- The two teams have shared a pitched rivalry since the Earthquakes returned to the league in 2008, after the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006. They had split their season series in each of the first four years after the Quakes’ return before last year.
- Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. SJ: P10 W5 L4 D1… Frank Yallop vs. HOU: P16 W6 L7 D3
The Houston Dynamo continued their long home undefeated streak, overcoming a first-half deficit for a 2-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 3 matches.
- The visitors took the lead in the 36th minute. Striker Darren Mattocks took a feed from rookie Erik Hurtado and turned his marker, ripping a shot from 22 yards over Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall and into the right corner of the goal.
- The Dynamo pulled even 10 minutes after the second-half restart. A well-worked combination play on the right flank gave Ricardo Clark room to curl a ball to the top of the six-yard box, where Giles Barnes headed it across ‘Caps goalkeeper Joe Cannon for his first MLS goal.
- The winner came seven minutes later. Will Bruin nodded down Adam Moffat’s corner, then Warren Creavalle got the final touch to bundle it home after a scrum in front of goal.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas in Frisco. Eric Brunner came into central defense and Warren Creavalle and Andrew Driver started in wide midfield positions, with Jermaine Taylor, Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis all away on international duty.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-1-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 90), Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes (Luiz Camargo 81) - Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 79).
- The Dynamo are now one result away from equaling the league’s all-time regular-season home unbeaten streak of 34 games, set by Real Salt Lake from 2009-11.
- “I’m happy how the guys played well as a whole. I’m happy we won the game because there are some teams that are sprinting away with wins in the Eastern Conference,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We talk about players and victories and when the guys step on the field, they know the expectations are to try and win the game.”
- Said forward Giles Barnes: “Our home is a fortress so we always have a little bit of an extra lift, kind of like a 12th man. We thought we could come here and get the two losses out of our system.”
- With Boniek Garcia on national team duty with Honduras, Warren Creavalle made his first start of the season and scored his first professional goal. He had recorded his first assist of the year in the season opener.
- “We just have to take these opportunities and do what you can do. Hopefully we can contribute and show that we don’t need to miss a beat when there are players out,” said Creavalle.
- Andrew Driver made his first MLS start, coming in for Brad Davis wide on the left of midfield. Driver had come on as a substitute in three consecutive matches, including both legs of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
- Eric Brunner was the third replacement for a player on international duty, with Jermaine Taylor posted with Jamaica. For Brunner it was his Dynamo debut, after coming to the club from Portland in the offseason.
- “We don’t talk about fill-ins, we talk about players and victories,” Kinnear said. “They’re not here to replace somebody; they’re here to keep us winning. When we step on the field they know the expectation is to try and win. Those guys did that tonight.”
- Making his third start as the underneath striker, Barnes netted his first MLS goal. It was his second goal in a Dynamo uniform, having scored last year in the CONCACAF Champions League.
- “It was great to get off the mark. I think I’ve had a chance to score in every game we played, so I knew I was due one,” said Barnes. “It was good to get off the mark and it was good we got the win as well.”
- A year ago, Will Bruin started the season without a goal in his first three games after a rookie season when he scored 5 times. But he scored four goals over the next three games on his way to an 11-goal campaign. Bruin is without a goal in the first three games this year.
- “That Vancouver game, it felt like there was a triangle around me,” Bruin said. “It’s frustrating during the game, but I’m trying to work on that. If I get frustrated, it ruins other aspects of my game. I feel like if I keep putting myself in good spots the goals will come.”
- Omar Cummings also made his Dynamo debut, after he was obtained from Colorado in the offseason and underwent knee surgery in January. “You’re not playing and then not being with the team in preseason, you miss a lot of the fundamentals like how they play and how the coach wants things,” Cummings said. Said Barnes: “You look at Omar, he’s very strong. Credit to him the way he’s kept himself in shape. He’s missed all of preseason and if you look at him he’s almost fit.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes ran their undefeated streak to three matches, getting the game’s only goal for a win against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes sit in a tie for second place in the Western Conference with 7 points from 4 matches.
- The game's lone goal came seconds into first-half stoppage time. A long clearance skidded off the head of Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Chris Wondolowski brought the ball down with the outside of his right foot, ripping a shot from 22 yards that barely beat Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning with a ricochet off the far post.
- Quakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that came back for a late 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Nana Attakora and Dan Gargan came into the back four with Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow both away on international duty.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Ty Harden, Jason Hernandez, Nana Attakora, Dan Gargan - Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales - Chris Wondolowski, Adam Jahn.
- The Earthquakes recorded their first shutout of the season despite missing three first-choice defenders, two to international duty (Víctor Bernárdez, Justin Morrow) and one to injury (Steven Beitashour).
- “It was a solid performance all the way around for us. Seattle is a good team and they created a lot of dangerous situations, but our back four did a very good job and didn’t let them get many clear-cut chances,” said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. “We had three very good chances to score and I feel that we deserved the win tonight. I am proud of the effort.”
- Nana Attakora started in central defense, his first league appearance since 2011, when he made six appearances for San Jose after being acquired in a trade with Toronto FC.
- “I thought he was outstanding tonight,” Yallop said. “I put him out on the field when he wasn’t ready to play [in 2011], and I think it was unfair for me to do that last time he was here. We always wanted to keep him and re-sign him. ... It’s just good to have him back, because we never wanted to lose him.”
- Said Attakora: “I’m happy I got to do it at home. I felt like I needed to prove to the people here what I’m capable of doing. I don’t think I got a chance to do that in 2011, so ... I’m happy with the way things went.”
- Chris Wondolowski scored his second goal of the season, his first from open play. “He had some great chances tonight and he finished the hardest one of all of them,” said Yallop. “That is what I like about Chris. He never hangs his head and he keeps pushing, looking for the opportunities even if he has missed some earlier in the game. That was a great finish.”
- It was a second consecutive home win for the Quakes after opening their Buck Shaw Stadium slate with a loss to Real Salt Lake.
- “It was a great win for our team. Whenever you walk out on your home pitch, you’re thinking three points. It feels good to get an early test with a [Western] Conference opponent who is always tough to beat,” said Yallop. There was an electric atmosphere and we definitely fed off of that.”
- Said midfielder Shea Salinas: “We’re feeling momentum. We played well in Columbus; we had a great week of practice and tonight we took a step closer to where we want to be as a team. Our midfield play was fluid, creating chances for our strikers. Every guy is upping their play and, until we are back to full strength on our roster, we are going to need that every night.”