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Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC | MLS Match Preview

June 22, 2013 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #148) 8 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou; TSN)

The Houston Dynamo will be looking to end a rare home winless streak when they play host to a Toronto FC side looking to put together back-to-back wins for the first time in nearly a year as the two clubs meet Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their overall winless streak extended to five games at midweek, dropping a 2-0 decision at the Montréal Impact. Toronto FC put an end to an 11-game league winless run of their own last weekend, with a 2-1 win at D.C. United.


REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 167 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 50; pens: 58

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Andrew Driver, Kofi Sarkodie … TOR: Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Corey Ashe … TOR: Doneil Henry, Darren O’Dea, Darel Russell

ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 20 goals … Toronto FC 3 wins, 14 goals … Ties 7
AT HOUSTON (7 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 13 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 3

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jeremy Hall gave TFC a lead in the second half, but Warren Creavalle scored deep into stoppage time to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, April 20 at BMO Field. The Dynamo are undefeated in the last five meetings with Toronto FC.
  • The Dynamo have a five-game undefeated streak alive vs. Toronto FC. TFC’s last victory in the series came in May, 2011.
  • The Dynamo win at BMO Field last July 28, a 2-0 victory, was the club’s first ever on the shores of Lake Ontario. TFC had won two of the first five meetings there, with three draws.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v TOR: P14 W4 L3 D7 … Ryan Nelsen vs. HOU: P1 W0 L0 D1

4/20: TOR 1, HOU 1 (Hall 58 – Creavalle 94+)

  • The home side took the lead in the 58th minute. A Dynamo clearance from their own box went only as far as Jeremy Hall some 25 yards from goal, and drove a low shot into the corner past sliding Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
  • Four minutes later, the Dynamo went down a man when defender Jermaine Taylor was shown a red card for a foul on Robert Earnshaw while both were racing for a loose ball over the top.
  • But the visitors pushed for the equalizer and it came in stoppage time. Ricardo Clark outjumped everyone to redirect a corner kick goalward, and second-year man Warren Creavalle redirected it past helpless goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
  • TORONTO FC (4-1-3-2): Joseph Bendik - Ryan Richter, Darren O'Dea, Gale Agbossoumonde, Logan Emory (Doneil Henry 89) - Jeremy Hall - Reggie Lambe, Luis Silva (Jonathan Osorio 74), Hogan Ephraim - Justin Braun, Robert Earnshaw (Andrew Wiedeman 86).
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor (sent off 62), Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver, Adam Moffat (Warren Creavalle 41), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Luiz Camargo 46) - Giles Barnes (Eric Brunner 64), Will Bruin.

The Houston Dynamo saw their winless streak stretched to five matches, following a 2-0 loss to the Montréal Impact on Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points from 14 matches.


  • The Impact took the lead after 14 minutes. A wonderful through ball from Patrice Bernier beat the Dynamo's offside trap and found Felipe racing into the area, and he finished by poking the ball between Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall’s legs.
  • The Dynamo had a glorious chance to level the score eight minutes later. Matteo Ferrari clipped Dynamo striker Will Bruin in the Montreal box, leading referee Chris Penso to point to the spot. Giles Barnes stepped up to take the penalty, but he skied his attempt into the East Stand.
  • The Impact then doubled the lead in the 32nd minute. Corey Ashe weighed his back pass from midfield wrong and it turned into an assist for Marco Di Vaio, who raced to the ball and then in on goal before lobbing Hall with stunning composure.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Jermaine Taylor and Bobby Boswell came into the team, in place of Eric Brunner and Jason Johnson.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Warren Creavalle (Brian Ching 78), Adam Moffat (Omar Cummings 69), Ricardo Clark (Luiz Camargo 87), Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.


  • The Dynamo’s five-game winless run is their longest since a five-game streak last March 23-May 9. “I thought we had some good chances the first half and second half but we just couldn’t score a goal tonight,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
  • The Dynamo fell to 1-5-2 when conceding the opening goal, though they allowed a goal before the 30-minute mark for the first time this season in the Montréal match.
  • “It’s tough to put your finger on why they were able to come out and outplay us in the first 20 minutes,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “We want to win and that has to be the attitude for 90 minutes. For the majority of the game I thought we had the right attitude but the start of the game killed us and we weren’t able to come out from that deficit.”
  • The Dynamo were also shut out at the attacking end for the third time in the last five games, all since a 4-0 victory at D.C. United on May 8.
  • “I think that with 2-0, they were maybe content to sit back just a little bit, but I told the guys if we defend well we’ll be able to break on them and get some chances and obviously we were chasing the game a little bit too,” said Kinnear.
  • The Dynamo had their first-choice central defense partnership again intact, with Bobby Boswell and Jermaine Taylor both back from a two-match absence. Ricardo Clark again returned to his holding midfield role.
  • The Dynamo missed a second penalty kick this season when Giles Barnes put his 22nd-minute chance well over the bar. The Dynamo, along with Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy, are the only teams to have missed multiple penalties this season; six teams in MLS still have yet to score from the spot this year.
  • “It took us a while to get going but I thought 25 minutes into the game we started to control the game a little bit better,” said Dynamo striker Brian Ching. “I think it’s just a matter of finishing, they finished their chances and we didn’t finish ours. If we would have scored on that penalty kick, it would have been a completely different game.”

READ: Starting XI - What's happening in Houston? Are the Timbers actually underachieving? Who will claim the SuperClasico?

Toronto FC put an end to their long winless streak after 11 MLS games, coming back for a 2-1 victory against D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 14 matches.


  • United opened the scoring. Nick DeLeon was clipped by Toronto defender Gale Agbossoumonde after a run and fell into the box, and referee Hilario Grajeda immediately pointed to the spot. Dwayne De Rosario converted United's first penalty kick of the season in the 19th minute, giving D.C. its first lead since March 9.
  • But the score was level on the half-hour. Steven Caldwell delivered a free kick into the area from the right flank at the halfway line, and Robert Earnshaw beat defender Brandon McDonald in a duel to head the ball by United ’keeper Bill Hamid.
  • Toronto took the lead for good in the 41st minute when Luis Silva floated a free kick into the box that deflected off the head of Daniel Woolard and by Hamid for United’s third own goal of the season.
  • TFC boss Ryan Nelsen made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Philladelphia Union at BMO Field. Gale Agbossoumonde came into central defense for the suspended Doneil Henry.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-1-1): Joseph Bendik - Ryan Richter, Steven Caldwell, Gale Agbossoumonde, Darren O'Dea - Jonathan Osorio, Matias Laba, Jeremy Hall, Bobby Convey (Reggie Lambe 77) - Luis Silva (Darel Russell 87) - Robert Earnshaw (Jeremy Brockie 80)

READ: Toronto FC close to Robert Earnshaw extension, hope to seal deal with Steven Caldwell


  • The win was the first for Toronto FC in league play since March 9, snapping an 11-game winless streak. It was TFC’s second victory in 28 MLS games since winning three in a row last July 11-18.
  • “The performances had been there and we just had not been the getting the end product in points,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. “I think it was a really professional performance today, and the players deserved the three points. … We have to learn how to win at this club. Sometimes it hurts before it gets better. We saw it out very well today. The defenders stepped up when they needed to and the midfielders were brilliant today in controlling the midfield.”
  • Said defender Darren O’Dea: “I think for the last while we’ve just talked about believing. We’ve played well in a lot of games, and a lot of periods of games, and things didn’t come off for us. Today, at times, it wasn’t great in the first half. The second half we looked comfortable and without having a lot of possession, we looked comfortable. We firmly believe in what we started out to do at the start of the season and we believe the results will come. And hopefully this is the first now of many.”
  • Toronto FC matched their season-high with two goals, the first time they’d scored twice in a game since hitting for late goals in back-to-back 2-2 draws with the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas on March 30 and April 6.
  • “The performances have been so good during the season and I think if we had seen all those games out we would be in a really nice position in our conference. Unfortunately, that’s the learning curve we have to go through as a team. Sometimes it hurts before it gets better,” said Nelsen. “And hopefully guys will take confidence from this being away from home. Putting balls in the box and people bombing forward – I thought they saw it out really well and looked really confident in the end.”
  • Robert Earnshaw netted his sixth goal of the season, his first since April 13, when he hit for the last of five goals over a five-game span.
  • “Today was a must-win for us. We came into this game really looking forward to it and excited about it. But it was a must-win. You know, the pressure was on us and for us, today, was win or nothing,” said Earnshaw. “Because if we came away without the points, I think we’d have been more devastated than any team, I think, in the whole season. … the last two games, probably our two best games that we played. It’s a credit to the points that we have in the two games. You know, we’re improving all the time.”
  • With Doneil Henry suspended, Gale Agbossoumonde returned to the lineup for his first appearance in four league matches, since starting five MLS games in a row from April 6-May 4.
  • “Very difficult to come in to a situation like this and be so young and inexperienced and to do as well as he did, full credit to him,” said central defense partner Steven Caldwell. “Keeping his concentration when he’s not in the team, working hard and being prepared when his opportunity arises –he’s done exceptionally well today.”
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Season Stats

Houston Dynamo FCToronto FC
15Games Played14
16Goals Conceded20
60Shots on Target43
169Fouls committed192
153Fouls suffered176

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