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Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution | MLS Match Preview

Oct. 16, 2014 (WEEK 32, MLS Game #305)
7 p.m. CT (ESPN2/Deportes; TSN2)

A match with important implications for the Eastern Conference playoff picture kicks off the week when the Houston Dynamo play host to the New England Revolution on Thursday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their playoff hopes dashed last weekend in a 3-1 home loss to D.C. United. But the Revolution still have a home berth in the conference semifinals on their radar, after securing their spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-2 draw at the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon.

REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Jeffrey Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Marcos DeOliveira.
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 3; pens: 5

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Ricardo Clark, Boniek Garcia … NE: Darrius Barnes, Daigo Kobayashi, Lee Nguyen, A.J. Soares
FINED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Will Bruin, Giles Barnes, David Horst, Kofi Sarkodie … NE: Kelyn Rowe, Charlie Davies, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney, Scott Caldwell, Jermaine Jones, Scott Caldwell

ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 17 goals … Revolution 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 6
AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 9 goals … Revolution 5 wins, 9 goals … Ties 1

2014 (MLS):
3/8: HOU 4, NE 0 (Bruin 2, 13; Garcia 23; Cummings 92+)
4/12: NE 2, HOU 0 (Alston 68; Bengtson 91+)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Kevin Alston and Jerry Bengtson scored second-half goals to lead the Revolution to a 2-0 win April 12 in Foxborough; Will Bruin scored two goals and set up another as the Dynamo rolled to a 4-0 win in the season opener, March 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Revolution have a winning record all-time in Houston, with five victories and a draw in nine league matches there. The Revolution victory in the last match was their first at Gillette Stadium against the Dynamo since 2010.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P7 W2 L3 D2 … Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P24 W9 L7 D8


  • The Revolution took the lead in the 68th minute. Kevin Alston worked a one-two with Daigo Kobayashi to create on opportunity, and Teal Bunbury’s last touch left Alston with an open chance about 13 yards out that he buried for his first MLS goal.
  • The home side capped the win in stoppage time. From a long ball deep in the New England half, Jerry Bengtson was able to sweep in ahead of goalkeeper Tally Hall, pick up the ball on the fly and get into the box behind Hall, burying home past a sliding defender from close range.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves (Darrius Barnes 41), A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston - Andy Dorman - Saer Sene (Jerry Bengtson 78), Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 71), Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez - Teal Bunbury.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, A.J. Cochran, Corey Ashe - Tony Cascio (Warren Creavalle 69), Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Andrew Driver (Omar Cummings 75) - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes.

The Houston Dynamo were officially eliminated from playoff contention, seeing their seven-game home undefeated streak put to an end with a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 32 games.


  • Following a weather delay of more than an hour midway through the first half, United took the lead in the 41st minute. Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric rushed off his line to stop a Chris Pontius shot, only to see the rebound land at the feet of Taylor Kemp, and he drove the ball back inside the far post from just inside the 18-yard box.
  • United doubled their advantage in the 64th minute. Sean Franklin cleared a Dynamo free kick from the edge of his own area to Fabian Espindola, and he had nothing but open field ahead of him. He raced 60 yards to the other end before capping his run with a classy chip over an onrushing Deric.
  • The Dynamo were given a lifeline in the 81st minute when Sean Franklin was whistled a penalty kick by referee Ismail Elfath after he appeared to drag Ricardo Clark down in the box. Giles Barnes calmly beat United goalkeeper Bill Hamid to the right to make it 2-1.
  • But United finished off their first win ever in Houston in the 87th minute when Sean Franklin put in a cross from the right to David Estrada all alone at the back post, and he played the ball square to a completely unmarked Eddie Johnson who tapped home into a unguarded goal from close range.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field. Eric Brunner came into central defense for the suspended A.J. Cochran.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-2-3): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Eric Brunner (Will Bruin 78), DaMarcus Beasley (Corey Ashe 11) - Servando Carrasco (Alexander Lopez 66) - Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Omar Cummings, Giles Barnes, Andrew Driver.


  • The Dynamo were eliminated from playoff contention following the loss to United, the first time since 2010 they have failed to reach the postseason, and just the second time in the club’s nine-year history in Houston.
  • “A whole lot of stuff didn’t go our way this year. To get knocked out of the playoffs is a sickening feeling because we’ve had some magical moments here and our playoff record here over the years is fantastic and to not be a part of the second season is a real disappointment,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It’s been one of those years. I can’t say one of those years plural because I don’t think we’ve ever had one like it. It’s been an odd year from all sides. There’s some stats that are wonderful to look at and some stats that are not.”
  • Said Brad Davis: “To be totally honest, over the last 11-12 games we’ve been playing some pretty good ball, but we’ve got to continue to do that throughout the year,” said Brad Davis. “When you look at over I think like the summer, right before the summer or whatever, we went like [eight] games where we didn’t pick up any points. That’s something we’ve obviously got to work on.”
  • Giles Barnes scored for a second consecutive match and has 10 goals this season, matching his MLS single-season career-high set a year ago. Five of his goals have come over the last seven matches.
  • “There were times where we moved the ball well and I think we have to be a little more confident. I think we all need to be a little bit better about being comfortable on the ball, controlling the ball,” said Davis. “I think those types of things and opening things teams up. When you start to play direct over-and-over it’s kind of easy to start defending. We just need to be a little bit more confident. Play, move the ball a little bit and stretch teams out.”
  • DaMarcus Beasley made his seventh consecutive start at left back, but was forced to come off after just 11 minutes after suffering a hamstring injury. Beasley missed back-to-back games Aug. 23-29, also with a hamstring strain.
  • “I don’t know. I’m optimistic, but at the same time I know my body; I know I’m not 20 years old anymore,” Beasley said. “Muscle injuries are difficult sometimes. I don’t know. We’ll see. It still feels pretty bad today. I think in the morning after I get a good night’s sleep hopefully it’ll calm down. I’m optimistic that hopefully I can play one of the last games of the season.”
  • With Luis Garrido and Boniek Garcia still away on international duty, Servando Carrasco made his second consecutive start in the Dynamo midfield, this time in a holding role in a three-man central group.
  • “We’re missing Boni [García], Luis [Garrido] and Jermaine [Taylor] right now at a pretty important time of the year. That’s one thing we definitely feel needs to change. We have to have that. We have to have all guys at your disposal,” said Davis. “There were a few games when I think we dressed only 15 guys. We only had 15 guys. Those aren’t necessarily excuses, but I think as a league, if you look at it overall, those are things we can better to make our teams better, make our teams a little bit better. We battled lots of injuries. Maybe that’s something we need to look at, but three ACLs—that’s just weird. There’s no real getting around that.”
  • The Dynamo conceded three goals in the loss to United, their most since a 3-0 loss at Columbus on Aug. 23. The Dynamo have conceded 54 goals this season – the most in a year in the club’s history in Houston.

The New England Revolution extended their undefeated run to three games and claimed a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs in the process, coming back for a 2-2 draw with the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The Revolution are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 49 points from 32 games.


  • The Impact hit for the opener in the 12th minute. Calum Mallace, on the ball near the halfway line, picked out Marco Di Vaio making a run past the Revolution’s high defensive line. On his first touch of the ball, Di Vaio whacked it past Revs ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth from inside the area.
  • The Revolution equalized four minutes later. On the edge of the area, Kelyn Rowe played a one-two with Charlie Davies and ended up alone in front of goal before finishing coolly to the right of goalkeeper Evan Bush.
  • The Impact nosed back in front in the 40th minute. Another long ball, this time from Andres Romero on the left, again found Di Vaio running just right of center. He let the ball run across his body, turning a Revs defender before blasting a shot in off the far post from the heart of the box.
  • But the visitors hit for the leveler in the 69th minute. Substitute Scott Caldwell dribbled and cut inside from the left only to face a wall of Montreal defenders. He left the ball to Lee Nguyen, whose attempt from outside the area deflected off a defender’s foot, looping over Bush and tucking into the back of the net.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that claimed a 2-1 victory against the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium. Kevin Alston came into the back four for Andrew Farrell, and Daigo Kobayashi came back into midfield for Scott Caldwell.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Daigo Kobayashi (Scott Caldwell 56), Jermaine Jones - Teal Bunbury (Diego Fagundez 61), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe - Charlie Davies (Patrick Mullins 79).


  • The Revolution clinched a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs with the result, their second consecutive year in the postseason after failing to make it three years in a row 2010-12.
  • “It’s a little different than last year since we qualified a bit earlier, which we are thrilled about. It’s not over though, we have to get into the playoffs and do something about it now,” said defender A.J. Soares. “We see it as there’s still a lot of work to do and we want to win these last two games, to have some momentum going forward.”
  • The Revolution have lost just once in their last 10 league matches, with seven wins and two draws over that stretch which began Aug. 16.
  • “It’s hard conceding some goals, but what’s even more important is how we always come back,” said midfielder Jermaine Jones. “Montreal showed us tonight that they are a good team especially with Marco Di Vaio, but we knew we had to fight to at least get a tie to secure out position in the playoffs.”
  • Said Lee Nguyen: “It’s good that we’re in in now. Now we’ve got to fine-tune the little things. The mentality is going to be the same – we want to win the next two games.”
  • Nguyen scored for a second consecutive match. He now has 15 goals this season, the most goals in a season by a Revolution player since Taylor Twellman scored 16 goals in 2007.
  • “Lee has been awesome and I thought tonight he played well again,” said Heaps. “It’s a battle – you go down twice on the road, especially here in Montreal, which is one of the hardest venues to play in.”
  • Kelyn Rowe scored his third goal in the last five games, and now has five for the season. He scored a single-season career-high seven goals last year.
  • Scott Caldwell came off the substitutes’ bench after starting the week before, and collected his second assist of the season, his first since March 29.
  • Kevin Alston started his second match in the last three, playing the full 90 minutes at right back. He has appeared in each of the last three matches after being out of action for more than month through injury.
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Season Stats

Houston Dynamo FCNew England Revolution
32Games Played32
54Goals Conceded45
142Shots on Target171
394Fouls committed413
331Fouls suffered378

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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