Dynamo seek to end Revs' Roberston dominance

The Houston Dynamo are looking to build on their Robertson Stadium form and get a first when they play host to the New England Revolution on Sunday evening. The Dynamo are looking to do something it took the entirety of the 2010 season to do – and defeat New England for the first time at home – after a 3-1 win against Vancouver last weekend. The Revolution are coming off their first defeat of 2011, a 2-0 home loss to Real Salt Lake.

REFEREE: Alex Prus. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Sorin Stoica; MLS Career: 179 games; FC/gm: 27.6; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 42; pens: 49

INJURY REPORT: HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); DF Jermaine Taylor (R foot sprain); DOUBTFUL: FW Brian Ching (L rib separation); PROBABLE: DF Andre Hainault (facial laceration) … NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – DOUBTFUL: DF Didier Domi (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Ryan Cochrane (L hip impingement); MF Ousmane Dabo (R quadriceps strain); Matt Reis (R adductor strain); PROBABLE: MF Andrew Sousa (R quadriceps strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: NE: Shalrie Joseph (through April 17); Pat Phelan (through April 17)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 8 goals … Revolution 6 wins, 15 goals … Ties 3

AT HOUSTON (5 meetings): Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … Revolution 4 wins, 7 goals … Ties 1

RETURN MATCH: 8/17: New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):

8/14: NE 1, HOU 0 (Stolica 62)

10/10: HOU 1, NE 2 (Oduro 59 – Joseph 43; Dube 73)

  • The Revolution have won on their last four trips to Robertson Stadium, including a 2-1 win in Houston last Oct. 10. The Dynamo’s goal snapped a string of three consecutive home shutouts vs. New England.
  • Houston’s only victory all-time in the league series came May 3, 2009 at Gillette Stadium, a 2-0 victory. However, the Dynamo did of course win two MLS Cups against the Revolution, on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in 2006, and a 2-1 win in MLS Cup 2007.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v NE: P15 W4 L6 D5 … Steve Nicol vs. HOU: P10 W6 L1 D3

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo won for the first time in 2011, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-1 on Sunday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have 5 points from 4 games on the season, sitting in a four-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The game burst into life late in the first half with three goals in a five-minute span. The Dynamo took the lead in the 37th minute when Cam Weaver pounced on a Brad Davis corner kick that Bobby Boswell had flicked on.
  • Whitecaps FC pulled even barely a minute later. Winger Davide Chiumiento slipped a ball through to Camilo after spinning away from the Dynamo defense. The Brazilian striker put a point blank shot over Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall’s right shoulder.
  • Boswell restored the Dynamo margin in the 42nd minute. After a corner kick was cleared, Danny Cruz's cross found the center back behind the pulled-up Vancouver back line and he knocked a shot past ‘keeper Jay Nolly.
  • Houston finished off the match in the the 76th minute. Rookie Will Bruin beat Nolly to a through ball as the 'keeper raced off his line, skipping around him and sliding the ball into the back of the net for his first professional goal.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 tie with the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Cam Weaver started up top for the injured Brian Ching.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe - Lovel Palmer - Danny Cruz, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Colin Clark 92+) - Cam Weaver (Jason Garey 84), Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo will be looking to do something against New England that it took them the entirety of the 2010 season to do – win back-to-back games. Houston was not able to follow a victory with a victory until the final two games of the season, vs. San Jose and Seattle.
  • “We created a lot of chances and had a little more composure, and I think we were very active and energetic and breaking pretty quick,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “After the first goal, the guys gained a lot of confidence and our movement off the ball was better. So it was it a little easier for us.”
  • Brad Davis recorded his first career 3-assist game, involved in all three goals in the 3-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The feat tied the Dynamo club record, set twice previously (Dwayne De Rosario, 2006; Corey Ashe, 2007).
  • “We haven’t really been able to put too many goals in the back of the net this year,” Davis said. “To be able to finally break the seal for the year felt good. I think it was a fantastic team performance.”
  • With Brian Ching again out to an injury after he was involved in a collision in New York, rookie Will Bruin scored his first professional goal, sealing the 3-1 win against Vancouver.
  • “Will’s learning on the job facing pro defenders, and it’s different from college,” Kinnear said. “I don’t think anybody was disappointed to see Will score that goal, because of how he’s worked hard and how honest and selfless he is. I hope it’s the first of many.”
  • After being known for their stout defending for years, the Dynamo are still looking for a first shutout of the season – though have allowed only a single goal in each of the four games thus far.
  • “I thought Andre [Hainault] and Bobby [Boswell] held firm, and I think Corey [Ashe] had a very good game at left back,” Kinnear said. “I’ll also point to Lovel [Palmer], who in the second half was closing down space and making passes very easy to read.”

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution went down to defeat for the first time in 2011, falling 2-0 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have 6 points from 5 matches, good for second place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Real took the lead after 27 minutes. Collen Warner's service from the left corner located Chris Schuler's powerful near-post run and the second-year defender headed home his first MLS goal.
  • Warner once again featured prominently to double the RSL lead two minutes into the second half. The second year midfielder played a ball behind the New England line for Paulo Junior, who collected and slotted home at the near post for his second goal of the campaign.
  • Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made three changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Empire Field. Franco Coria started for the suspended A.J. Soares and Kenny Mansally and Marko Perovic came in at the wide midfield spots for Zak Boggs and Sainey Nyassi.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Darrius Barnes 53), Franco Coria, Didier Domi - Stephen McCarthy (Ilija Stolica 46), Pat Phelan (sent off 86) - Kenny Mansally, Shalrie Joseph (sent off 70), Marko Perovic - Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution were shutout for the first time on the season and saw their season-opening unbeaten streak end at four games, the club’s longest since going 11 games unbeaten to start 2005.
  • “We didn’t have any spring in our legs, but at the same time that doesn’t hide the fact we really should have played better, but we didn’t,” Nicol said. “To give the ball to the opposition as often as we did, you’re not winning games.’’
  • The Revolution have now been involved in back-to-back games with three red cards, after Vancouver Whitecaps FC saw two players sent off and New England one in the midweek 1-1 draw.
  • “For that game to have three red cards is pretty incredible,’’ Nicol said. “I haven’t seen any of them, but it’s tough to swallow. We weren’t good, but to lose Shalrie and Pat Phelan for next week in a game where there were no real challenges in it, up until the red card?”
  • While Nicol again started with five in the midfield, as he has done throughout the campaign, there was a tactical shift at halftime. Nicol inserted Sainey Nyassi and Ilija Stolica for Zack Schilawski and Stephen McCarthy at halftime and switched to a 4-4-2 formation, with Perovic playing a withdrawn striker’s role.
  • "We made the changes, and then we gave the ball away again at the halfway line and we end up going two down," said Nicol. "It makes it difficult. You give the ball to the opposition as often as we did (and) you’re not going to win games."
  • The Revolution are hoping to soon be able to count on former Lazio midfielder Ousmane Dabo, who has been recovering from a quadriceps injury suffered in preseason. "I would hope that he’s going to be joining full training sometime this week," said Nicol. "We’ll see what happens."
  • The Revolution also hope to have Danish forward Rajko Lekic available, if his international transfer certificate is received.
  • “We believe we’ve added a significant component to our attack with this signing,” said Revolution player personnel chief Mike Burns. “Rajko has scored goals consistently for all his previous clubs, and we are optimistic he’ll do the same for us during his time in New England.”