Preview: Do-or-die time for Revolution vs. Dynamo
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
August 17, 2011 8 p.m. ET, MatchDay Live
MLS Cup foes in back-to-back years, the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo meet in a key Eastern Conference matchup at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Revolution need to make a move if they are going to get back into the MLS Cup Playoffs picture, off a 3-1 loss at Columbus last weekend. The Dynamo are coming off a 2-1 home win against Portland that moved them into third in the East.
REFEREE: Michael Kennedy. SAR (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; JAR (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero. MLS Career: 137 games; FC/gm: 28.9; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 24; pens: 47
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: DF Franco Coria (L knee MCL sprain); FW Kheli Dube (whiplash); FW Rajko Lekic (R great toe fracture); MF Sainey Nyassi (R knee MCL sprain) … HOUSTON
- DYNAMO – OUT: FW Will Bruin (L knee surgery); MF Danny Cruz (R quad strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Pat Phelan … HOU: Brad Davis
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Ryan Cochrane, Franco Coria, Rajko Lekic, Stephen McCarthy … HOU: Danny Cruz, Cam Weaver
- ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Revolution 6 wins, 15 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 3
- AT NEW ENGLAND (5 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 8 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 2
- Hunter Freeman’s 86th-minute tally was the only goal of the game as the Dynamo won the first meeting this season, April 17 at Robertson Stadium, Houston’s first home win ever vs. New England.
- The win was just the Dynamo’s second all-time against New England in the league series. The first 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: P16 W5 L6 D5 … Steve Nicol vs. HOU: P11 W6 L2 D3
- 4/17: HOU 1, NE 0 (Freeman 86)
- The talking points began early in the second half, when Bobby Boswell redirected a corner kick goalward. It was cleared from the line by Zack Schilawski and referee Alex Prus did not give the goal, though the Dynamo felt it had crossed the line.
- Then in the 86th minute, there was more. Cam Weaver hammered a header from another corner, the ball ricocheting straight up off the crossbar. Hunter Freeman got between Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis and the goal line, and the ball bounced off his arm and into the goal for the winner.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe - Danny Cruz (Colin Clark 75), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Will Bruin (Jason Garey 88), Cam Weaver.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-3-2-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Franco Coria (Ryan Cochrane 79), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Zak Boggs, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Marko Perovic, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 79) – Rajko Lekic
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution went down to a second consecutive defeat, falling 3-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Revolution have 21 points from 24 matches, in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
- The Revolution took the lead just before the break. Pat Phelan shook off a challenge in the area and laid the ball square in a return pass for Benny Feilhaber, and he lashed home a low shot past William Hesmer.
- The equalizer came in the 54th minute when New England defender Kevin Alston stuck out a foot to prevent a chip from Andrés Mendoza reaching fellow forward Tommy Heinemann, but the ball flew over the head of onrushing goalkeeper Matt Reis.
- On 75 minutes, the Crew took the lead when Julius James powered home a header from close range at the near post after a corner kick from Josh Gardner.
- Emilio Renteria then finished off the scoring six minutes later when he turned home a shot all alone in front of goal from a rolling cross by Robbie Rogers from the right corner.
- Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that fell 3-2 to Chivas USA at Gillette Stadium. A.J. Soares came into the back four for Ryan Cochrane, and Pat Phelan returned to the lineup for Sainey Nyassi.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney - Pat Phelan - Benny Feilhaber, Stephen McCarthy (Zak Boggs 79), Shalrie Joseph, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 68) - Milton Caraglio (Diego Fagundez 79).
- The Revolution conceded three goals for a second consecutive game, and for the fourth time in their last seven games, dating back to July 4.
- “We need to make good decisions defending. When you don’t get yourself in a good position defensively, that encourages the other team to get into those holes, and that’s exactly what they did,” said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol.
- Now with 23 goals scored on the season, the Revolution rank at the bottom of MLS. Their 0.96 goals per games is level with Toronto FC at the foot of the MLS table, the only two teams in the league averaging less than a goal per game.
- “At the end of the day we can’t keep the possession, and we can’t keep the ball when we need to and it came back to cost us,” said Shalrie Joseph. “The goal comes from us giving up possession and us not being solid enough defensively. We knew they were going to send numbers forward, but that’s what happens when you’re not solid defensively and mentally and it’s costing us points.”
- The Revs have won just once in their last 14 games (since mid-May), a 1-0 win at D.C. United on July 20. Their last two wins have come by 1-0 scorelines.
- “There’s stuff that happened with our team, that is week to week and I can’t even understand it,” said Benny Feilhaber “It’s really frustrating and it’s like that feeling like, here we go again.Honestly, I don’t think we played that bad. We put good combinations together but it wasn’t to be.”
- After playing with a strike pair featuring Milton Caraglio and Zack Schilawski, Nicol returned to a three-pronged attack, with Caraglio as the spearhead and Schilawski and Feilhaber filling the wider roles.
- Pat Phelan recorded his third assist of the season, level with Feilhaber for the team lead.
- The Revolution return home for back-to-back games at Gillette Stadium after their four-game unbeaten streak on the road came to end in Columbus.
The Houston Dynamo won for the second time in three games, getting a pair of first-half goals in a 2-1 defeat of the Portland Timbers on Sunday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have 31 points from 24 games on the season, sitting in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The Dynamo took the lead after 17 minutes. A Bobby Boswell shot off a corner was blocked and deflected out some 40 yards from goal -- where Adam Moffat hit a thunderous strike that beat Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins into the upper right corner.
- Houston then doubled their lead in the 27th minute, when Brad Davis slipped in Colin Clark, who nutmegged a defender for Brian Ching to finish from close range.
- The Timbers pulled a goal back in the 56th minute when Sal Zizzo found Darlington Nagbe with a cross at the back post, and he headed back for Jack Jewsbury, whose thumping volley took a deflection on its way to the back of the net.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that got a late goal for a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Carlo Costly came into the first XI ahead of Cam Weaver.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Colin Clark (Je-Vaughn Watson 69), Adam Moffat, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis (Jermaine Taylor 80) - Brian Ching, Carlo Costly (Cam Weaver 56).
- The Dynamo have lost just once in their last eight games, winning three and drawing four in that time.
- “We have leapfrogged some teams in the Eastern Conference and put ourselves in a pretty good spot,” said Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear. “We will move on from this one and move on to Wednesday’s match.”
- Houston’s Brad Davis took sole possession of the MLS lead in assists with 11, starting the sequence that led to Brian Ching’s goal vs. Portland on Sunday.
- Carlo Costly was given his first MLS start, starting in attack alongside Ching after coming on for the final 29 minutes the week before vs. Philadelphia in his first game with the Dynamo.
- “We’ve played a-game-and-a-half together. He is a good player, fun to play with, and you saw he made an impact in this game,” said Ching. “He was a little tired from all the travel and the games he had, but you can look for some big games from him. He came in with the right attitude, all the guys like him, and I’m glad to have him on the team.”
- Costly also played 56 minutes after scoring at midweek for the Honduran national team. “In the first half, the coach told me to not get too close to Brian Ching,” he said. “We took turns to get into different positions up front. Little by little, I’m starting to get to know the players more, and I hope this works out for the best for all of us.”
- Adam Moffat scored against his former club with the long-range strike, his first goal since July 3 of last year, when he was with Columbus.
- “When you are out there against your old teammates, you want to get stuck in. I had a couple challenges to let them know I was there as well,” Moffat said. “It was a good strike that went in. I was happy and delighted, but like I said, it was the three points that mattered.”
- Ching now has three goals in his last three games, and all four of his goals on the season have come since June 25. He has started seven of the last eight games for Houston.
- “This is going to be a test of our character with the games coming up back-to-back-to-back and ending with arguably one of the best teams in the league in Real Salt Lake,” Ching said. “It’s a good test to see where we are at the end of this week, and hopefully we continue to play well and put our stamp on the Eastern Conference.”