Preview: Playoffs, rivalry on the line for FCD and Houston
FC DALLAS vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
PIZZA HUT PARK, Frisco, Texas
4 pm ET (Telefutura; FS-SW+)
September 24, 2011 (WEEK 28; MLS Game 267)
FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo renew their Lone Star State rivalry on Saturday afternoon at Pizza Hut Park in a vital game for both clubs' playoff ambitions. FC Dallas have lost two games in a row in league play after their 1-0 loss vs. New York, now finding themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference. The Dynamo have hauled themselves into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference and an automatic qualifying spot, after their 2-1 win against San Jose.
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 139 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 42; pens: 54
INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS - OUT: DF Edson Edward (R knee ACL tear); MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Bruno Guarda (L ankle); MF Marvin Chavez (R ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Andrew Jacobson (hamstring) ... HOUSTON DYNAMO - OUT: MF Alex Dixon (L finger fracture); QUESTIONABLE: MF Adam Moffat (concussion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Daniel Hernandez, George John ... HOU: Brad Davis, Adam Moffat
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DAL: Marvin Chavez, Jeremy Hall, Andrew Jacobson, Zach Loyd ... HOU: Danny Cruz, Hunter Freeman, Je-Vaughn Watson, Cam Weaver
ALL-TIME (17 meetings): FC Dallas 3 wins, 18 goals ... Dynamo 7 wins, 25 goals ... Ties 7
AT DALLAS (8 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 7 goals ... Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 4
- In the first meeting this season on May 28, Houston's Colin Clark scored the tying goal three minutes from the end as the Dynamo twice came back from a goal down before the teams ended in a 2-2 draw.
- After going nearly three years and nine games without a win against their in-state rivals, FC Dallas have won two of the last four 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 US 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: P25 W10 L4 D11 ... Schellas Hyndman vs. HOU: P7 W2 L2 D3
LAST MEETING (MLS)
5/28: HOU 2, DAL 2 (Weaver 42, Clark 87 - Jacobson 27; Ihemelu 70)
- FC Dallas took the lead in the 27th minute. Fabian Castillo screamed a 25-yard shot off the crossbar, and it rebounded straight out to Andrew Jacobson, who headed the ball back into the goal with 'keeper Tally Hall having dived to save the initial attempt.
- But the Dynamo pulled level in the 42nd minute, as Brad Davis picked out Cam Weaver in the right of the box and he struck to end FCD's shutout run at 531 minutes.
- FCD regained the lead in the 70th minute, when Ugo Ihemelu snapped a header from a Marvin Chávez corner kick past a diving Hall. Then two minutes later, the Dynamo went down a man when Kofi Sarkodie committed a second bookable offense.
- But three minutes from full time, a Davis through ball to to second-half substitute Colin Clark opened the FCD defense, and Clark fired a low shot past Kevin Hartman to secure a share of the spoils.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO--Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie (sent off 72), Jermaine Taylor (Alex Dixon 84), Andre Hainault, Mike Chabala - Je-Vaughn Watson (Colin Clark 66), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Will Bruin (Koke 75), Cam Weaver.
- FC DALLAS--Kevin Hartman - Jackson Goncalves (Jair Benitez 46), Bobby Warshaw, Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd Daniel Hernandez - Eric Alexander (Milton Rodriguez 65), Marvin Chavez, Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea - Fabian Castillo (Ricardo Villar 84)
FC Dallas went down to a second consecutive defeat, losing 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Pizza Hut Park. FCD has 46 points from 28 games on the season, now in fourth place in the Western Conference.
- The game's lone goal came in the 36th minute. Juan Agudelo sent in a low cross from the right edge of the penalty area and Luke Rodgers managed to get his first-time effort past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and inside the right post.
- FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change to the team that fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Ugo Ihemelu returned to the team in place of the suspended Brek Shea.
- FC DALLAS (4-1-4-1): Kevin Hartman - Zach Loyd (Bobby Warshaw 81), George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez - Daniel Hernandez - Jackson, Daniel Cruz (Fabian Castillo 54), Andrew Jacobson (Maykel Galindo 65), Ricardo Villar - Maicon Santos.
- FC Dallas lost by shutout in back-to-back games for the second time this season (also falling to San Jose and Columbus, March 26 and April 1). Before this season, the last time FCD lost in back-to-back shutouts happened in 2007 in defeats by Houston and D.C. United (Aug. 19 and Sept. 1).
- "It's obviously a very disappointing outcome. I thought we played extremely well the first 20 to 25 minutes, created many very good opportunities for ourselves, but didn't finish. Scoring goals is probably the most important thing in soccer. Then we found ourselves on the counterattack and gave up the goal. We knew it would be difficult, in the second half especially, with them going with a 4-5-1 and sitting back on the lead," said FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman.
- FC Dallas were without Brek Shea, out through suspension after playing only the first 45 minutes the week before vs. New England. Marvin Chávez also missed a second consecutive match, out with injury suffered while on national team duty.
- "It doesn't seem like we're playing with the same type of intensity and we're not having as much success as we had perhaps in the middle portion of the season. I don't know if it's because we have different personnel on the field, if it's because we're lethargic, we're tired. I don't know exactly what it is," said goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. "I know we need to hurry up and rectify the situation as quickly as possible."
- With Ugo Ihemelu back from suspension, Andrew Jacobson moved forward into a central midfield role with Ricardo Villar shifting to a wide role.
- "Not having our top two flank players is difficult to go without. [Ricardo] Villar added something. He's a very crafty player. He's very intelligent and a good passer of the ball. But the thing he doesn't bring is that penetration into space with speed. Jackson kept on floating into the center a little too much," Hyndman said.
- Fabian Castillo was also able to return to the field in a substitute's role after missing the New England match with a hip injury.
- On Wednesday, Pumas UNAM got a measure of revenge for FC Dallas' historic win in Mexico, turning the tables with a 2-0 victory at Pizza Hut Park in the CONCACAF Champions League. Eduardo Aguirre scored the opener in the 84th minute before David Izazola netted the second in stoppage time.
- Here's the FCD team: Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Jack Stewart, Jeremy Hall, Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo (Maykel Galindo 46), Daniel Hernandez, Daniel Cruz (Andrew Wiedeman 85), Ricardo Villar (Bobby Warshaw 73), Jackson.
The Houston Dynamo made it two games without loss, coming back for a 2-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have 39 points from 30 games on the season, in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The visiting Earthquakes took the lead five minutes before halftime. Freed down the right flank, Steven Beitashour sent in a purposeful cross and Khari Stephenson hammered a volley past Tally Hall from the heart of the area.
- But the Dynamo knotted the score just out of the halftime break when Brad Davis was tripped up in the area by San Jose defender Bobby Burling, then converted the resulting penalty kick.
- The home side then hit for the winner 11 minutes from the end when Luiz Camargo put in a cross from the right flank and Will Bruin sent a clinical left-footed shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Andre Hainault returned to right back in place of Jermaine Taylor, Colin Clark came into the midfield for Je-Vaughn Watson, and Calen Carr and Carlo Costly were the strike pair in place of Will Bruin and Cam Weaver.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Colin Clark (Danny Cruz 59), Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis - Calen Carr (Will Bruin 73), Carlo Costly (Cam Weaver 68).
- It's the next-to-last road game for the Dynamo, who are still winless this season away from Robertson Stadium (0-6-9). Just three teams have finished a season winless on the road: the LA Galaxy in 2003 (0-9-6), Real Salt Lake in 2005 (0-14-2) and New York in 2009 (0-13-2).
- In his second appearance after missing six games following knee surgery, Dynamo striker Will Bruin regained the goalscoring lead among MLS rookies with his fifth goal this season, now one goal ahead of Sporting Kansas City's C.J. Sapong.
- "I'm happy for him, and his goal was the winning goal, so I'm happy for that too," head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "It relieves a lot of pressure. The one thing he said coming off the field was, 'That was a long time coming.' The kid works hard, and his run was excellent."
- Making his second consecutive start in the center of midfield, Luiz Camargo contributed his first MLS assist in setting up Bruin's goal.
- "I don't think, until this year when I met Will, I've ever been excited to see a guy dance like a bear," goalkeeper Tally Hall said. "Every time I see it I'm pretty happy. He's one of those guys that's always trying to get more information and make smarter runs and be a better teammate. He's put in the work every single day, and today it paid off."
- With the entrance of Luiz Camargo, Geoff Cameron has moved back into a central defense role, and Andre Hainault made his first start of 2011 at right back in the San Jose game.
- "I don't think it's been a big change," Hainault said. "Luiz has come in and played well quickly. I've played a lot at right back and Geoff played the whole season two years ago at center back, so it's not really too much playing out of position."
- Bruin came on for Calen Carr, who played 73 minutes in his first start for the Dynamo. Carr was making just his fifth league appearance of the season after missing the first 24 games of the season with a concussion after his preseason arrival from the Chicago Fire.
- "It was a frustrating time for him the previous six months or so, but I think he showed on Saturday why we traded for him," Kinnear said. "He makes some good, smart runs behind the defense and can be a threat. ... I think he will be an important player for us down the stretch."
- It was the fourth consecutive home win for the Dynamo, and they are now unbeaten in their last six league games (5-0-1) dating back to the start of July.
- "It's a huge win. Coming off a loss in Kansas City and an unfortunate tie in Columbus, it was almost a must-win. Three points were huge to get, and hopefully this gets the ball rolling to a playoff push," said Bruin.