Preview: El Capitán rivalry renews for struggling Houston, surging FCD
The Texas derby for “El Capitán” is again renewed when the Houston Dynamo play host to FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium. Houston has not been a place of much success for Dallas, who won there for the first time ever in their last meeting. Both teams come off midweek games on the road, the Dynamo falling 1-0 at the LA Galaxy, while FC Dallas extended their club-record shutout streak in a 1-0 win at Seattle Sounders FC.
REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Armando Villarreal MLS Career: 143 games; FC/gm: 28.6; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 46; pens: 46
INJURY REPORT: HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); FW Brian Ching (L plantar fascitis); DOUBTFUL: MF Danny Cruz (R knee hyperextension); PROBABLE: FW Cam Weaver (R ankle sprain) …
FC DALLAS – OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Bryan Leyva (R ankle); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jair Benitez (L knee); FW Maykel Galindo (L plantar fascia strain); FW Milton Rodriguez (IT band syndrome)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Brad Davis … DAL: George John, Andrew Jacobson
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Dynamo 7 wins, 23 goals … FC Dallas 3 wins, 16 goals … Ties 6
AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 13 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 9/24: FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, 3 p.m. CT (Galavision)
3/27: DAL 1, HOU 1 (Harris 38 – Chabala 36)
5/5: HOU 0, DAL 1 (Ihemelu 79)
• After going nearly three years and nine games without a win against their in-state rivals, FC Dallas have won two of the last three meetings between the teams.
• FC Dallas won for the first time ever in Houston in the final meeting last season, a 1-0 victory at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo had won five of the first seven league matches at home (with two draws), along with a conference semifinal match in the MLS Cup Playoffs and a U.S. Open Cup match.
• The clubs are playing for “El Capitán”, the 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon to be awarded to the winner of the season series by supporters groups for both clubs.
• Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v DAL: P24 W10 L4 D10 … Schellas Hyndman vs. HOU: P6 W2 L2 D2
The Houston Dynamo saw their winless streak extended to five games, losing 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Dynamo have 14 points from 12 games on the season, sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in first-half stoppage time. Houston midfielder Lovel Palmer stopped a shot by Chris Birchall with his arm, and referee Chris Penso awarded a penalty kick. Landon Donovan stepped up and easily converted the spot kick past Tally Hall for his league-leading eighth goal of the season.
• It was the first shot on goal for the Galaxy in the match, who ended with two on the night. Donovan Ricketts was called upon to make just one save in the LA goal.
• Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that played to a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls at Robertson Stadium. Koke came into attack for Cam Weaver.
• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 46) - Colin Clark, Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Je-Vaughn Watson 61) - Will Bruin, Koke (Cam Weaver 74).
• After back-to-back draws, it was a third loss in the five-game winless run for the Dynamo. It was just the second loss in six games away from Robertson Stadium.
• “We did do some good things,” said Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We started the game pretty good, and then we hit a lull in the second half where we were sloppy with our passing. We stopped going forward. We didn’t do enough in and around the box.”
• It was the second 1-0 loss of the season for the Dynamo, after falling in the season opener to Philadelphia by that scoreline. The Dynamo have been shut out in two of the last three games.
• “I think we did OK. They have a good team they are obviously missing someone important to them; so is everybody these days,” Kinnear said. “I think we have been defending real well as a group. We were recovering well. I think our passing under pressure, relieving pressure is a thing we probably could have done a better job on in the first half especially.”
• Koke made his second MLS start in the only change Kinnear made to his lineup from the New York match, even with the quick turnaround and trip to the West Coast.
• “We worked hard. It has been a long week. It was a quick turnaround from this past weekend,” Geoff Cameron said. “It is just one of those that you have to take on the chin a little bit and we have a game Saturday so we are looking forward to that.”
• While Kinnear has made very few alterations to his lineup over the past few weeks, some more enforced changes could be coming.
• Fullback Corey Ashe left the match at halftime with a left leg injury and was replaced by Mike Chabala, making his third MLS appearance of the season. The Dynamo will also be missing three players to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
• “I like playing center mid, but I also like playing center back,” Geoff Cameron said. “It doesn’t matter where Dom puts me. We’ll be missing guys like André [Hainault] and Jermaine [Taylor] with Jamaica and I could be moving to center back. Who knows?”
FC Dallas extended their unbeaten run and club-record shutout streak, coming away from Seattle Sounders FC with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday evening at Qwest Field. FCD has 21 points from 10 games on the season, in second place in the Western Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in the 17th minute. Andrew Jacobson slotted a pass through the heart of the Sounders FC defense, perfectly into the stride of Brek Shea, and he finished calmly past Kasey Keller inside the right post.
• Kevin Hartman had four saves as Sounders FC uncorked a season-high in shots, but FC Dallas extended their shutout streak to a club-record 489 minutes, the best streak in MLS this season.
• FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman maintained the same team for a fourth consecutive game, keeping the group that playing to a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake at Pizza Hut Park
• FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd - Daniel Hernandez - Eric Alexander (Bobby Warshaw 74), Marvin Chavez (Ricardo Villar 91+), Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea - Fabian Castillo (Ruben Luna 64)
• FC Dallas extended their shutout streak to a club-record 489 minutes, the longest streak in MLS this season. It’s now the seventh-longest streak in MLS history, two minutes behind the next on the list, the Houston streak from April 4-May 16, 2009. The all-time MLS record is 727 minutes, set by the Dynamo from June 10-July 22, 2007. The FCD club record was 415 minutes, set last season.
• “We had to work hard for a long period of time because Seattle was throwing a lot of numbers at us and some quality at us. I thought we weathered the first half pretty easily and they kept throwing bodies at us in the second half,” Kevin Hartman said. “Fortunately we were able to block some shots, save some shots and prevent shots. At the end of the day, we were pretty content to get the three points and get out of here."
• FC Dallas last conceded a goal on May 1 vs. the LA Galaxy. The next game, a scoreless draw with D.C. United, Hyndman was able to run out his first-choice back four that has not changed since.
• “It’s a good testament to the backline and our communication as well as the leadership with Kevin Hartman and Daniel Hernandez. I didn’t know it was a record, but that’s great,” center back George John said. “I missed all of preseason, as did Ugo Ihemelu, so we didn’t really have a lot of time to mesh with each other. Now we kind of know each other’s tendencies a little bit better. We are kind of on the same page, things are clicking, and the ball is bouncing our way.”
• The shutout was the 99th of Hartman’s career – the all-time MLS record holder.
• "It's Kevin [Hartman's] birthday today and we were talking about getting that shutout and to do it in a difficult environment like this with as much pressure on us. I thought it was a very good team performance," Hyndman said.
• Brek Shea scored his fourth goal of the season, all over the last eight games. He has two goals in the last three and two game-winning goals for the season, while having been deployed in three different positions this season (left back, center back and left midfield).
• "He continues to develop. He just turned 21 and we just signed him to a four year contract so he's a player that we have a lot of faith in,” Hyndman said. “He's going to continue to develop. He broke through and beat [Kasey] Keller when he was coming out. It changed the whole game at that point in time."
• After a somewhat middling start again, FC Dallas have reeled off a long unbeaten run, now seven games without loss after opening 1-3-1. A year ago, a 19-game unbeaten run followed a 2-2-5 opening.
• “We go into every game thinking that we are going to find a way to get three points,” said Hyndman. “Our guys played with extreme determination and desire to get a result so a great win for us.”