DC United vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview
D.C. UNITED vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
May 8, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #88)
7 p.m. ET (CSN-MA+; CSN-Hou2 / KTBU)
D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo meet for the second time this season when the Eastern Conference foes face off at RFK Stadium on Saturday evening. United are looking to put a halt to a five-game losing streak, returning to action after a 3-0 loss at Columbus two weekends ago. The Dynamo are coming off a famous victory, knocking off the LA Galaxy 1-0 in Carson last weekend in an MLS Cup rematch. The Dynamo defeated United 2-0 when the clubs met in Houston in the opening weekend of the season.
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Ted Unkel
Gonzalez's MLS Career: 94 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 31; pens: 24
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: HOU: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): United 4 wins, 15 goals ... Dynamo 10 wins, 29 goals ... Ties 2
AT RFK STADIUM (7 meetings): United 4 wins, 11 goals ... Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo, 1:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. An own goal and a goal from Warren Creavalle in the final 10 minutes gave the Dynamo a 2-0 win to open the season, March 2 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- United’s 3-2 home win in the first meeting a season ago was their first against Houston at home since 2009.
- The Dynamo have never lost to D.C. United in Houston, winning nine of 10 meetings there all-time in league and cup play (with one draw).
- The teams met in the Eastern Conference Championship a year ago, the Dynamo claiming a 3-1 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium in the first leg, before the teams reached a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium to send Houston to MLS Cup 2012.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. HOU: P7 W1 L5 D1 ... Dominic Kinnear vs. DC: P21 W11 L6 D4
LAST MEETING (MLS):
3/2: HOU 2, DC 0 (own goal 79; R. Clark 88)
- The Dynamo could have been up by two goals before the halftime break. First, in the 40th minute, Ricardo Clark earned a penalty kick after being brought down by Chris Korb. But United goalkeeper Bill Hamid saved the resulting attempt by Brad Davis and then collected the rebound try from Clark. Then just before the whistle, Korb cleared a Will Bruin header off the line on a corner kick.
- But the home side went ahead in the 80th minute when United defender James Riley beat Ricardo Clark to a corner kick -- only to see his attempted headed clearance fly straight into the roof of the goal.
- Then Houston doubled the lead in the 89th minute when substitute Warren Creavalle worked to keep the ball alive on the end line and pulled back a pass for Clark to finish with a fierce angled finish into the far corner.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-1-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Adam Moffat - Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark (Luiz Camargo 90), Brad Davis (Warren Creavalle 85) - Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 87) - Will Bruin.
- D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard (James Riley 46) - Marcelo Saragosa (Kyle Porter 83), Perry Kitchen - Nick DeLeon, John Thorrington (Marcos Sanchez 73), Chris Pontius - Lionard Pajoy.
D.C. United return to action after a weekend off, their losing skid extended to five games last time out, in a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on April 27 at Crew Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 8 matches.
- Back in the starting lineup, Jairo Arrieta quickly paid dividends by setting up Dominic Oduro's opening goal in the 15th minute. Arrieta took a cross from Eddie Gaven on the left side of the box and dribbled toward the endline before cutting a pass to the middle where Oduro buried a shot.
- The Crew then doubled the lead in the 26th minute from yet another corner kick, as Federico Higuain found fullback Josh Williams 10 yards in front of the goal, and he netted his third goal of the season with a sidewinder.
Highlights: DC 0, CLB 3
- United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that suffered a 3-2 defeat by Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium. Raphael Augusto came into the team for Marcelo Saragosa, and Marcos Sanchez started in place of the injured Chris Pontius.
- D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald (Ethan White 46), Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Perry Kitchen (Marcelo Saragosa 73), Raphael Augusto (Rafael Teixeira 60) - Kyle Porter, Dwayne De Rosario, Marcos Sanchez - Lionard Pajoy.
- United’s five-game losing streak is one loss shy of the club record, set from Sept. 30, 2006-April 28, 2007.
- Of the seven teams in MLS history with four points or fewer after eight games, three made the playoffs (COL and LA in 2003, KC in 2011), four did not (CHV in 2005, DAL in 2009, DC in 2010, TOR in 2012).
- “I’ve reminded them plenty of times that there have been several teams in this same spot we’re in right now that have changed their fortunes and have ended up in either the MLS Cup, the playoffs, winning U.S. Open Cup,” said United head coach Ben Olsen.
- D.C. United were held without a goal for a fifth time in eight contests this season, the third in the last four. United have scored just four goals, level with New England for the fewest in MLS this season.
- “We’re still not scoring. Like I always say, sometimes the hardest part is creating. So we did create,” said Dwayne De Rosario. “Now we’ve got to start scoring, just getting that ball in the back of the net.”
- Homegrown Player Ethan White made his 2013 league debut, coming on at halftime into central defense in place of Brandon McDonald. McDonald had played every minute of every game before being removed.
- “I thought defensively, almost everyone was pretty tuned in. We had a guy that had a bad night and that’s the way things have been going,” said Olsen. “We have been getting punished for what seems like any mistake we’ve been making.”
- Said McDonald: “That’s just unacceptable. I don’t even know how to put it in words how I feel. At halftime I came in and just I lost it, but I’m better than that. My teammates, fans, and the whole club need better from me and they don’t deserve that. That was just terrible.
- The day before the match, Chris Pontius suffered a groin strain that forced him to miss the trip to Columbus. Pontius has returned to light training and could be available for the Houston match.
- Nick DeLeon has already returned to training after suffering a hamstring strain that forced him off the field after just 31 minutes of the March 23 game vs. Columbus.
- “It’s always nice to see some fresh faces coming back out to training when you’re going through a tough stretch with injuries,” Olsen said. “As these guys come back from injury there will be more competition. And I hope the guys that are on the field understand that it’s their job to try and keep their spot.”
The Houston Dynamo won for the first time this season on the road, making a second-half goal stand up for a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy in an MLS Cup rematch Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Dynamo are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 9 matches.
- The Galaxy had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the first half. Jose Villarreal pushed the ball past goalkeeper Tally Hall in the penalty area, and after contact that sent Villarreal sprawling, referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. But Hall stopped Landon Donovan's penalty attempt.
- The Dynamo hit for the winner in the 56th minute. Bobby Boswell's long ball found Giles Barnes, who cut a pass back from nearly the endline, and Andrew Driver hit it first time with his left foot from right on the edge of the area and drove it inside the left post.
Highlights: LA 0, HOU 1
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Ricardo Clark - Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 84), Will Bruin.
- While the Dynamo have lost twice all season, the victory against the Galaxy came after back-to-back draws where they had to come from behind on each occasion.
- “You can play poorly and win and you’ll still be happy. A win is a win and the way we went about it tonight, yes they had chances which they’re going to do because they have good players but the way we went about the win tonight was very encouraging,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
- Added Andrew Driver: “We let ourselves down the last couple of weeks. We didn’t play as well as we could and we knew this was a big game coming into these three away games. So to come here and get a result ... was a massive game for us and we can take massive confidence from this during the next couple games.”
- The win at The Home Depot Center started a two-game coast-to-coast road swing over four days for the Dynamo, who will return home this weekend for a huge match with Sporting Kansas City.
- “Seasons aren’t made this early but when you are facing three games in a week it becomes an opportunity,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We could collect some serious points and having the first two on the road, it’s a difficult challenge but now we’ve set ourselves up to have a really positive week.”
- After being beaten for 10 penalty kicks in 10 attempts in league games over the past two seasons, Tally Hall saved a penalty for the first time in MLS play.
- “I think that was the third penalty (Landon Donovan has) taken on me and he’s gone left the two times before,” said Hall. “He’s good enough to switch it back and forth but he’s a smart enough player to remember that’s been successful for him. I wish I could have had the other two but I’ll take this one.”
- With Brad Davis suspended, Driver shifted to the left side of the midfield and Adam Moffat returned to the lineup after missing the Colorado Rapids game with a hamstring injury.
- “I think it’s a pretty simple adjustment with Andrew who can play on the left,” Kinnear said. “He’s comfortable out there.”