Preview: Revs welcome Dynamo in Eastern Conf. bout

NE vs. HOU, 5-19-12

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
May 19, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #101)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; KPRC-2)

It’s a rematch of one of the more pitched rivalries over the past few years, when the New England Revolution play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. MLS Cup Final opponents for back-to-back years, the teams are tied in the middle of the Eastern Conference pack. The Revs are coming off a 4-1 home win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, while the Dynamo finally opened their new home stadium, playing to a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers at midweek after taking down D.C. United in the opener, 1-0.

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Marlene Duffy; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 133 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 48; pens: 49

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); DF Flo Lechner (R foot fifth metatarsal fracture); MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); FW Jeremiah White (concussion); DOUBTFUL: MF Clyde Simms (L ankle tendonitis); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jose Moreno (R calf strain); MF Kelyn Rowe (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Ryan Guy (R calf stiffness) …

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: GK Erich Marscheider (R shoulder sprain); DF Kofi Sarkodie (R foot sprain); FW Brian Ownby (L elbow dislocation)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Chris Tierney … VAN: Jun Marques Davidson; Eric Hassli

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Revolution 6 wins, 16 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 4
AT NEW ENGLAND (6 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 9 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCH: 9/29: Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. CT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/17: HOU 1, NE 0 (Freeman 86)
8/17: NE 1, HOU 1 (Cochrane 4 – Boswell 90)
• The Dynamo’s 1-0 win last year in the final meeting between the clubs at Robertson Stadium was their first-ever home win vs. New England. After a 1-1 draw in the first meeting in Houston, the Revolution won their next four trips to face the Dynamo.
• The teams have played for three cups. They met in back-to-back MLS Cup Finals in 2006 and 2007, the Dynamo winning on both occasions (on penalty kicks in MLS Cup 2006; 2-1 in MLS Cup 2007). They also met in the 2008 SuperLiga final (won by New England on penalties).
• Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. HOU: first game … Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P12 W2 L6 T4

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution broke out of a recent spell in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 10 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Revs crush Vancouver at Gillette

LAST MATCH

• Eric Hassli started and finished a sweeping Whitecaps FC move after five minutes to open the scoring. The French striker chested down to Davide Chiumiento, prompting Chiumiento's ball down the right channel to Sébastien Le Toux. Hassli made a timely run through the middle and thrashed home Le Toux's pullback.
• But the home side were level in the sixth minute. Blake Brettschneider's shot from inside the Whitecaps penalty area deflected off Young-Pyo Lee's back. The ball fell kindly into Lee Nguyen's path and he curled his effort into the lower left-hand corner.
• Nguyen playing a critical role in the second goal after 24 minutes, slotting a diagonal ball into Saer Sene on the outside of the penalty area. The French striker turned Vancouver defender Alain Rochat in the area and tucked home the go-ahead tally.
• The Revs made 3-1 eight minutes later. Sene crossed the ball in from the right side and Carlyle Mitchell couldn't find a way to deal with the service. The ball fell to Joseph, and he lashed home from the penalty spot.
• The Revolution completed the scoring on 72 minutes. Chris Tierney lofted a throw-in straight into Nguyen's path 25 yards from goal. Nguyen weighed up the ball and then volleyed into the far corner to cap his perfect night.
• Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that went down to a 2-1 defeat by Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Stephen McCarthy came into the back four for John Lozano, and Saer Sene entered the side in place of Kelyn Rowe.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Benny Feilhaber, Clyde Simms, Shalrie Joseph, Lee Nguyen (Fernando Cardenas 80) - Saer Sene (Diego Fagundez 72), Blake Brettschneider (Alec Purdie 85).

TEAM NEWS

• Lee Nguyen’s first two-goal night in Major League Soccer came against the club that waived him before the start of the season, after he was signed following a weighted lottery.
• “We had a quiet little talk with him and said, ‘Hey, this is a good moment for him.’ You’re going to play against your former team,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “As a former player who played against my former team, the Miami Fusion, a few times, there is something there when someone says you’re expendable or they want to move on without you.
• Said Nguyen: ”I wouldn’t say revenge. I’m just relieved. I’m just happy we got the win. The way it ended up I couldn’t have dreamt it any better. I’m just glad for my teammates, we worked hard and we didn’t give up after that first goal. It was a great win.
• Nguyen’s opening goal was the fourth the Revolution have scored this year in the opening 10 minutes of games. Three of those goals have come at Gillette Stadium. They have five for the season in the opening quarter-hour – second in MLS (behind New York, with seven).
• “I’m a big believer, when you give something up, you’ve got to – it’s the cliché the next five minutes … that’s when you have to take advantage and press a little bit. Maybe you get a corner, maybe you get a free kick,” said Heaps. “But that’s what we were trying to do is get after it right away.
• The win against Whitecaps FC opened a stretch of seven of the next nine games for the Revs at Gillette Stadium.
• “It felt good to get the win and get three points,” Revolution defender A.J. Soares said. “We've shown that we're a tough team to play at home and that's what we want. We still have stuff we need to tighten up, though. We're not satisfied with the game. We're happy with the result and the three points, but we're really looking at it [and saying] that we need to learn from it.”
• After one game out of the starting lineup, Stephen McCarthy returned to central defense, again partnering A.J. Soares.
• “They’re starting to gel. Stephen McCarthy has had ups and downs. He’s a second-year player, but it’s his first year playing the position. I think he has all the attributes to be an amazing center back and every week you see glimpses of it,” Heaps said. “But it’s still a learning process. A.J. – you see him getting better and stronger and he’s helping Stephen along. It’s nice to have that partnership.”
• Saer Sene scored his second goals in three games and now has four on the season, leading the Revolution.
• “We need more performances like that,” Heaps said. “We had a lot of guys have very good games. We need to continue that. We need the very good games to become the consistent games, as opposed to one very good game and then a poor game.”
• After playing up top as a lone striker in the Real match and scoring his first goal with the Revs, Blake Brettschneider maintained his place, this time partnered with Sene.
• “If nothing else, it was kind of a weight off of my shoulders,” Brettschneider said. “It's always nice to get the first one, especially being with a new club this year and trying to find my form. Confidence-wise, it does a lot for me. It makes it a lot easier. Every touch I take now, it's with a little bit more creativity in mind and looking to get forward to get more shots on goal.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo remained unbeaten in their new home, reaching a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers on Tuesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 8 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Dynamo, Timbers finish scoreless

LAST MATCH

• Quality chances were few and far between for both sides. The Dynamo took 19 attempts at goal; Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins was called upon to make seven saves.
• Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with two saves.
• Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that took a 1-0 victory against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. Corey Ashe came into the back four for Andre Hainault, Adam Moffat and Je-Vaughn Watson started in midfield for Nathan Sturgis and Luiz Camargo, and Macoumba Kandji replaced Brian Ching up top.
• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Jermaine Taylor, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Calen Carr, Nathan Sturgis, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis (Alex Dixon 74) - Will Bruin (Brian Ching 64), Macoumba Kandji (Colin Clark 71).

TEAM NEWS

• It was a quick turnaround for the Dynamo after the grand opening of BBVA Compass Stadium barely 72 hours earlier.
• “You can’t blame the hoopla because it is pretty special,” Kinnear said. “It’s special what is going on here in the stadium with the fans and the organization. … You don’t want to say it’s back to normal because we hope these types of games are normal.”
• The Dynamo still have just the one win since opening the season with a pair of victories – that against D.C. United in the BBVA Compass Stadium opening – and have been shut out in two of the last three games.
• “It took us a good first half to get us going. I thought in the second half we were excellent. We had some good chances and [Timbers goalkeeper] Troy Perkins made some good saves,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I think as the second half wore on we got stronger and stronger. I give all the credit to the guys. We had a great attitude tonight. All in all we had a pretty good game.”
• After conceding goals in five consecutive games following back-to-back shutouts to open the season, the Dynamo have once again gone two straight matches without allowing a goal – and have yet to concede on their new home ground.
• “It’s always a process of getting better and better and when we don’t hurt ourselves then it’s difficult to beat us,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “I think the last couple of games have been a good example of us being organized and playing well and we’re a difficult team to score on.”
• After two consecutive 90-minute shifts following three matches out of the first team with a calf strain, Brad Davis was taken off for a substitute after 72 minutes against Portland.
• “We are riding Brad pretty hard right now,” Kinnear said. “I thought maybe I gave him five minutes to many, he may not agree with that but I think he was running on empty a bit. It’s been a good shift of minutes for Brad and we need to make sure we take care of him heading into the next game.”
• Calen Carr played the full 90 minutes for the second in three games, having now made three consecutive starts after serving as a substitute for the opening six matches (appearing in five).