Preview: Reds, Dynamo look to snap back to life
Looking to put the skids on a long winless run in MLS play, Toronto FC remain at home to entertain the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening. TFC haven’t won in six league games after a 3-0 loss in Seattle last weekend, though they defeated Edmonton in the Canadian Championship at midweek. The Dynamo saw their long undefeated run come to an end at midweek, falling 2-1 at home to Colorado.
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: John McCloskey MLS Career: 56 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 17; pens: 15
INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DOUBTFUL: FW Keith Makubuya (adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Gianluca Zavarise (adductor tightness) … HOUSTON DYNAMO –
OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); MF Danny Cruz (R knee hyperextension); DOUBTFUL: MF Geoff Cameron (R lower leg contusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Julian de Guzman
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Dan Gargan
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 7 goals …Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 4
AT BMO FIELD (4 meetings): Toronto FC 1 wins, 4 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCH: 7/9: Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. CT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
7/1: TOR 1, HOU 1 (Gargan 84 – Ching 72)
9/18: HOU 1, TOR 2 (Ching 18 – De Rosario 60, 90)
- The Dynamo have never won at BMO Field. Toronto FC had recorded a victory in first meeting on the shores of Lake Ontario, before the teams played to three consecutive 1-1 draws.
- Toronto FC won the first meeting ever between the clubs – the 1-0 win May 16, 2007 – then had not defeated the Dynamo again before the 2-1 win in Houston last September, going 0-2-4 in the six meetings in between.
- Coaches record: Aron Winter vs. HOU: first game … Dominic Kinnear v TOR: P8 W2 L2 D4
Toronto FC had their winless stretched to six games, in a 3-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at Qwest Field. TFC has 7 points from 8 games on the season, in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
- Sounders FC took the lead in the ninth minute. With TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei moving to cover the near post, an unmarked Alvaro Fernández got on the end of a Brad Evans cross from the right flank and headed home.
- Seattle doubled the lead in the 52nd minute. This time it was Evans who finished off, running onto a Montero pass and firing a shot to the left side that Frei could only get his hands on but not stop.
- Evans added a third on the night for the home side and his third of the season in the 75th minute from the penalty spot after referee Ricardo Salazar whistled Mikael Yourassowsky for a handball in the box.
- TFC head coach Aron Winter made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at BMO Field. Alen Stevanovic came into the lineup, in place of the suspended Tony Tchani.
- TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Dan Gargan, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman - Julian de Guzman (Nathan Sturgis 57) - Jacob Peterson, Maicon Santos (Mikael Yourassowsky 46) - Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen Stevanovic (Matt Gold 62)
- Toronto FC saw their league winless streak extended to six games and were shut out for a third time in the last four in the 3-0 loss at Seattle, a defeat defender Dan Gargan called “embarrassing” and head coach Aron Winter called “shameful.”
- “We hurt as much as you do,” Gargan said. “We understand how frustrating it must be, but imagine how we must feel. We are professionals and this is our livelihood. We don’t want to lose anymore than the fans do.”
- Toronto FC also allowed three goals for the second time in three games, the third time this season they allowed three goals or more.
- “Well, it was a bad game; we didn’t play well,” Winter said, “ We want to play football, but if you don’t play – if you are afraid to get the ball and each ball that we have you have we play long ball then we [make it] difficult.”
- Winter used two of his substitutions before the hour mark. Maicon Santos was withdrawn at halftime for Mikael Yourassowsky, and designated player Julian de Guzman was taken off for Nathan Sturgis.
- "They were doing what we were asking and doing it well. What I expect is the most experienced players have to do what we want. They have to be fighting and battling and doing things we expect," Winter said of the substitutions.
- Again with two games during the week, this time both at BMO Field, Winter indicated changes could be coming.
- "First, I'm going to think about it,” he said. “I'm not satisfied with some players with their performance during this match and the previous games. I like more players who are giving everything because some players today didn't give everything."
- One change that was expected in some quarters was the insertion of Englishman Richard Eckersley at right back after making his TFC debut in the Canadian Championship first-leg win vs. FC Edmonton. But he was not in the 18-man eligible list with Gargan holding down the spot, after Gargan had replaced him at halftime in Edmonton.
- On Wednesday, Toronto FC advanced to the final of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship following a 1-0 win against FC Edmonton at BMO Field, winning the tie 4-0 on aggregate. Alan Gordon scored the game’s lone goal in the 21st minute.
- Here’s the TFC team: Stefan Frei, Danleigh Borman, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, Richard Eckersley, Mikael Yourassowsky, Julian de Guzman (Matt Gold 72), Tony Tchani (Nick Soolsma 72), Joao Plata, Alan Gordon (Maicon Santos 65), Jacob Peterson
- The victory gave the Reds a boost ahead of the league match this weekend. “I think that mentally we are all focused on this Saturday’s game and going in there we have to visualize how we play with one another beside us,” said Adrian Cann.” Going into Saturday’s game it’s very crucial that we get the three points so that’s our objective going forward.”
- The Houston Dynamo lost for the first time since the season opener, falling 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have 12 points from 8 games on the season, sitting in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The game burst to life over the final 20 minutes. Former Rapids midfielder Colin Clark opened the scoring in the 71st minute, tallying his first goal in a Dynamo uniform after a quick move to create space in the area and a shot that caught Rapids ‘keeper Matt Pickens cheating off his near post.
- Just three minutes later, Colorado’s Jamie Smith scored on a 40-yard free kick after Houston ‘keeper Tally Hall misjudged the flight of the ball. Hall came off his line and could only flap at Smith’s curling effort, which bounced in the goal area and rolled into the net.
- But the Rapids hit for the winner in the 84th minute. Houston struggled to clear the ball from a long Marvell Wynne throw-in, and Caleb Folan was able to poke it back to Scott Palguta at the top of the box, and he hammered a well-struck left-footed shot just inside Hall’s left-hand post.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that, rolled to a 4-1 victory against D.C. United at Robertson Stadium. Je-Vaughn Watson made his first MLS start, in place of the injured Geoff Cameron.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2):Tally Hall, Hunter Freeman (Alex Dixon 85), Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe – Colin Clark, Lovel Palmer, Je-Vaughn Watson, Brad Davis – Will Bruin (Koke 77), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 62).
- It was just the third time over the entirety of the 2011 season that a team scored the first goal and allowed their opponents to come back for a victory. Vancouver (v FC Dallas, April 23) and San Jose (v Chivas USA, also April 23) were the first two.
- “To be up 1-0 and three minutes later give up a goal so soon is always deflating,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I thought we played OK after that, but on the second goal I thought we needed to do a better job of attacking the ball in the box. At the end, they were just knocking the ball forward to try and disturb us, and I think we were just a little hesitant to clear the ball at that time.”
- The Dynamo allowed more than a single goal in a game for the first time this season. They had allowed one goal in six of their first seven games.
- “I guess I made a colossal error, and the team paid for it,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “Unfortunately it happens, and it happened today. I thought we played well enough to win. One goal is enough to win a game, and I feel like I let the team down today.”
- For Colin Clark, who was traded from the Rapids to the Dynamo last September, the goal was his first since June 20, 2009, when he scored for Colorado against D.C. United.
- The Dynamo have the first of back-to-back games on the road in Toronto; away from home, the Dynamo have three draws from three games. The loss to Colorado was the second in five games at Robertson Stadium.
- “It’s unfortunate we’ve lost two games at home. The fashion in which we did is frustrating, but it’s a situation where the best thing to do is get back on the field,” Kinnear said. “Training can be a bit laborious, but playing the game gets your juices going.”
- The Dynamo were missing midfielder Geoff Cameron, who was a late scratch with a leg injury. Cameron had played all 90 minutes in each of the first seven league games.
- “I think we did miss his presence on the field,” Kinnear said of Cameron. “I don’t think any team created a ton of chances. I think he would have helped us, but I thought we were doing OK. I don’t think the way we gave up those goals is due to Geoff Cameron’s absence or not.”
- In Cameron’s stead, Je-Vaughn Watson made his first start for the club, and recorded his first MLS assist.
- “They were dropping in and trying to get a lot of numbers behind the ball. Especially putting three guys there at midfield trying to clog up the passing lanes forward,” said Cam Weaver. “It made it difficult for us at the beginning, but I think we started to figure it out as the game wore on and we started to create more.”
- Brian Ching was able to come in the 62nd minute for what ended as his longest stint since suffering an injury and playing just 39 minutes in a start April 2 at New York. But Ching suffered a knock to his left knee along the way, and Kinnear said there is question he’ll be available for the Toronto game. “He got a bit of knock there and fell down, but he finished the game for us,” Kinnear said.