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Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs COLUMBUS CREW
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
Sept. 13, 2014 (WEEK 27, MLS Game #260)
7:30 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; TWCS-OH)

The Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew meet for a third time this season in a vitally important match for both clubs when they face off Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo have won two games in a row to pull to within five points of fifth place and the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference, following their 3-2 home win against the Montréal Impact last weekend. The Crew hit the road after winning a third game in a row on their home ground, holding down the final postseason place following their 3-0 win against Chivas USA last Sunday.

REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 191 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 56; pens: 68

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Ricardo Clark
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Will Bruin … CLB: Bernardo Anor, Federico Higuain, Waylon Francis
DISABLED LIST: CLB: Matthew Wiet; Josh Williams; Kingsley Baiden (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 20 goals … Crew 5 wins, 26 goals … Ties 9
AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 11 goals … Crew 1 win, 8 goals … Ties 5

2014 (MLS):
5/7: HOU 1, CLB 0 (Bruin 50)
8/23: CLB 3, HOU 0 (Meram 35; Bedell 59; Schoenfeld 64)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Justin Meram, Adam Bedell and Aaron Schoenfeld all scored as the Crew took a 3-0 win Aug. 23 at Crew Stadium; Will Bruin scored the game’s only goal early in the second half for a Dynamo victory, May 7 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Dynamo have won the last two meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium. Their 3-1 win last Aug. 3 was the Dynamo’s first win against the Crew in almost exactly five years, since Aug. 2, 2008.
  • The Crew have not lost to the Dynamo in Columbus since June 10, 2007, a 2-1 Houston victory. Since then, the Crew have won five of the eight meetings at home, with three draws.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. CLB: P23 W6 L8 T9 … Gregg Berhalter vs. HOU: P2 W1 L1 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The Crew took the lead after 35 minutes. Justin Meram benefitted from a poor touch from a Houston defender and gathered the ball near the top of the penalty box, then took a few touches before firing a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
  • The lead was doubled in the 59th minute as Meram this time played provider. Cleaning up a long corner, Meram turned and swung in a perfectly placed cross to the head of Adam Bedell, who outmuscled his marker and glanced a header past a helpless Hall and into the far corner.
  • Columbus added a third goal in the 64th minute, when fullback Waylon Francis found streaking substitute Aaron Schoenfeld with a perfect cross to head home from the heart of the area to seal the match.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Steve Clark - Eric Gehrig, Michael Parkhurst, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis - Ethan Finlay (Hector Jimenez 76), Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Justin Meram (Romain Gall 88) - Federico Higuain - Adam Bedell (Aaron Schoenfeld 60).
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia (Andrew Driver 71), Luis Garrido (Brian Ownby 61), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 83) - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo won their second game on the trot, getting a late winner for a 3-2 victory against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points from 26 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead in the 30th minute. The ball was misplayed by Montreal left back Krzysztof Krol on the right flank and Giles Barnes collected before charging into the box, where he held off a challenge as he slipped a low shot inside the near post.
  • The Impact pulled even 10 minutes later as Felipe received a pass from Ignacio Piatti and drove to his right before slipping a pass to his left for Dilly Duka, who finished with his left foot from just inside the box for the equalizer.
  • Montreal took the lead in the 55th minute on the counterattack. Marco Di Vaio settled a long forward ball at the center circle and quickly fed Ignacio Piatti in behind the Houston defense. Piatti drove into the box and snuck a shot past onrushing goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
  • The Dynamo responded within seven minutes. Cummings settled a throw-in on the right flank and dribbled into the penalty area before threading a perfect pass to Barnes, who used one touch before sending a classy finish inside the far post from 12 yards out.
  • The game-winner came three minutes later after the Dynamo gained a corner kick. From a Brad Davis service, Houston defender David Horst headed the ball down to Ricardo Clark waiting alone at the back post. He settled the ball with his chest before hammering an acrobatic side volley into the net from close range for the decider.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-1 at Sporting Park. Tyler Deric came in between the posts for the injured Tally Hall, A.J. Cochran and DaMarcus Beasley came into the back four for Kofi Sarkodie and Jermaine Taylor, and Omar Cummings started up top in place of Will Bruin.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tyler Deric - Corey Ashe, A.J. Cochran, David Horst, DaMarcus Beasley - Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 83) - Giles Barnes, Omar Cummings (Brian Ownby 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo have won back-to-back games for the first time since May 3-7, matching their longest winning streak of the season.
  • “I think in the past we’ve kind of put our heads down and crumbled but this team showed a lot of character and resilience to come back and be hungry for it and thankfully we got the win,” midfielder Ricardo Clark said. “Coming down to the end here, every game so is crunch time so we want to make the most of every game and every opportunity.”
  • The Dynamo have also scored three goals in back-to-back games. They had gone 15 games, dating back to May 3, without scoring more than two goals in a game.
  • “This is the time of year, from what I hear, this is when the Dynamo make their run and I’m to be a part of it,” said DaMarcus Beasley. “This is when the Dynamo comes alive and I’m excited. We want to keep going the right direction.”
  • With striker Will Bruin out of the team for the first time since May 11, with a right foot sprain, Omar Cummings made his first start since June 29, coming into the attack as the off forward and recording an assist.
  • “Full credit goes to Omar, too, for coming out and giving us a good 75 minutes," said Kinnear. "Just what he did for us tonight was huge. I think the guys in the locker room understand that. Giles [Barnes] was good. Good first goal, all-important second goal and overall thought his play was really good tonight.”
  • Said Beasley: “[Omar’s] had a tough time, he got an assist and played well. Of course, he gives his all whether he’s with us or not. When he’s not he knows we’re with him, but as you see when he steps on the field he’s one of our best players."
  • Giles Barnes played the role of the target forward up top and scored two goals, his first goals since July 19. It was Barnes’s fourth career two-goal game in his two MLS seasons.
  • Ricardo Clark scored his second goal in as many games, while Brad Davis collected his third assist in the last two games. Davis has nine assists this season, tied for sixth on the MLS assist leaderboard.
  • Following a two-game absence, Beasley returned to the Dynamo back four on the left flank. A.J. Cochran made his first start since July 4, coming into central defense with Jermaine Taylor sidelined because of concussion.
  • “We showed a lot of character and heart,” said Beasley. “If one guy steps out another guy steps in. It was good to see the boys come in and play well.”

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew won their third consecutive game on their home ground, defeating Chivas USA 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Crew Stadium. The Crew are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with 36 points from 27 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew were given a glorious opportunity in the 45th minute when forward Aaron Schoenfeld was tripped up by Eriq Zavaleta in the box on a corner kick. Referee Geoff Gamble awarded the penalty kick, but Federico Higuain slammed the shot into the bar for his third penalty miss of the season.
  • The Crew finally broke through seven minutes into the second half. Justin Meram collected the ball on the left side, just outside the box, cut inside onto his favored right foot and curled a feathery shot around a defender and past Chivas USA 'keeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Less than ten minutes later, Meram put the match away with another blast into the corner. He scooped up a loose ball in the middle of the field to go one-on-one with Kennedy and left no doubt, cooly slotting a right-footed shot into the corner of the Chivas USA goal.
  • The Crew added an insurance goal in the 80th minute, when substitute Hector Jimenez found another substitute in Bernardo Anor with a perfectly placed cross that Anor headed home.
  • Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Kevan George and Daniel Paladini came into the midfield in place of the suspended Tony Tchani and Wil Trapp, and Aaron Schoenfeld started up top in place of Adam Bedell.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark - Eric Gehrig, Michael Parkhurst, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis - Kevan George, Daniel Paladini - Ethan Finlay (Hector Jimenez 76), Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 66) - Aaron Schoenfeld (Jairo Arrieta 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew won their third consecutive game at Crew Stadium, the last two by shutout. Following the trip to Houston, they return home for games against New England and Montréal.
  • “It was a game of patience; it was a game of will. It was a game of sticking to the game plan,” said Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter. “You guys want me to say that I wanted to score three goals in the first ten minutes and the game would have been over but that’s not soccer it doesn’t always happen like that so I think that this was a great overall 90-minute performance based on that.”
  • Justin Meram scored a pair of goals in game for the first time in his MLS career in the win against Chivas USA. Meram has a single-season career-high seven goals this season, five coming over the last five games (since Aug. 9).
  • "He has quality, and that's the most important thing," Berhalter said. "He can make plays and he has the ability to shoot and go one-on-one, and that's very good. It's a high level for this league, so he's going to be dangerous."
  • Bernardo Anor came off the substitutes’ bench and scored his fifth goal of the season, his first goal since netting twice in the 2-1 come-from-behind win vs. Montréal on July 19. Anor was making his first appearance in five matches.
  • “It was great that we were able to give him those extended minutes today. We want to get him back, we want to get him in form especially as we finish up the season. So I think it’s really important and just for our group to have options pushes everyone a little bit harder,” Berhalter said.
  • With Tony Tchani and Wil Trapp suspended, Kevan George and Daniel Paladini came into the center of the midfield. For, George it was his first start since July 19, while Paladini saw first-team action for the first time since July 16.
  • “I thought they played really well. In the first half the spacing wasn’t right and the second half they played really well and I’m proud of those guys for not contributing that many minutes and coming in and playing and putting a good performance in a game that was important for the club,” said Berhalter.
  • Said Paladini: “[Berhalter] stresses on keeping the ball in the first half. It was not as good as it was in the second half. At halftime, he came in and said pick up the intensity, move the ball quicker, and we did. We knew they were going to break down and that they were going to get tired especially playing three games in eight days.”
  • Following eight substitute appearances in league play, Aaron Schoenfeld made his first start of the season as the lone out-and-out striker. Jairo Arrieta came off the substitutes’ bench for his second stint over the last nine matches.
  • The Crew announced the signing of Austrian international defender Emanuel Pogatetz, who was last with Nürnburg in the German Bundesliga.
  • “We think Emanuel is a great addition to the roster,” said Gregg Berhalter. “He’s a highly experienced defender and a captain of his national team with over 60 appearances for Austria. Emanuel comes to us with Bundesliga and Premiership experience, and he’s accomplished at the highest levels of the game.
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Current Form

Houston
W
L
W
L
W
W
Columbus
D
L
W
W
L
W

Season Stats

Houston DynamoColumbus Crew SC
26Games Played27
9Wins9
13Losses9
4Draws9
31Goals38
48Goals Conceded34
266Shots289
113Shots on Target127
333Fouls committed323
278Fouls suffered278
45Offside66
141Corners154

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
HOU107522311.2
CLB78741381.4
01234+Avg
HOU164111.6
CLB344211.6
01234+Avg
HOU911110.8
CLB443201.2

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
HOU73844481.8
CLB613431341.3
01234+Avg
HOU614021.4
CLB472101.0
01234+Avg
HOU124422.3
CLB262211.5
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