Preview: Houston play host in MLS Cup rematch with LA

HOU vs LA, 5-26-12

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HOUSTON DYNAMO vs LA GALAXY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
May 26, 2012 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #112)
1:30 p.m. CT (NBC SN)

It's a rematch of MLS Cup 2011 when the Houston Dynamo play host to the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium on the NBC Sports Network. The Dynamo return home after stretching their unbeaten run to three games last weekend, coming back for a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution. The Galaxy are now winless in their last six contests, seeing the San Jose Earthquakes come storming back for a 3-2 victory at midweek in Carson.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Jasen Anno
MLS Career: 46 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 8; pens: 7

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INJURY REPORT:

  • HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: DF Kofi Sarkodie (R foot sprain); GK Erich Marscheider (R shoulder sprain); PROBABLE: FW Brian Ownby (L elbow dislocation)
  • LA GALAXY - OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF A.J.DeLaGarza (R heel bruise); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery)

NBC Sports Preview: HOU vs. LA

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Geoff Cameron (USA) ... LA: Landon Donovan (USA), Robbie Keane (Ireland)

SUSPENDED: LA: Hector Jimenez (through May 26)

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Juninho, Landon Donovan

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 17 goals ... Galaxy 6 wins, 17 goals ... Ties 4

AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 9 goals ... Galaxy 3 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):

5/25: LA 1, HOU 0 (Donovan 45)
10/23: HOU 3, LA 1 (Moffat 27; Boswell 48; Costly 74 - McBean 88)

  • This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
  • It's a rematch of MLS Cup 2011, when Landon Donovan's goal gave the Galaxy a 1-0 victory at The Home Depot Center and the third league crown in club history.
  • Of the last seven MLS Cup Finals, the Galaxy or Dynamo have played in five - the Galaxy in 2005, 2009 and 2011, and the Dynamo in 2006, 2007 and 2011.
  • The Dynamo haven't defeated LA at The Home Depot Center since 2007. The Galaxy have won five meetings in a row in Carson, including MLS Cup 2011 and the 2009 Western Conference Championship.
  • Houston's league win last year in the regular season finale snapped a five-game winless run vs. LA.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v LA: P23 W9 L9 D5 ... Bruce Arena vs. HOU: P8 W5 L3 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo extended their undefeated run to three games with late drama, hitting a late equalizer for a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 9 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Dynamo snatch a draw in NE

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead on 25 minutes. Referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot after Brad Davis clattered into Saer Sene in the area, and Sene took the ball and tucked home his fifth goal of the season.
  • The Dynamo were level six minutes later as Davis served up his first assist of the season, swinging a free kick that Will Bruin nodded home for his fifth goal of the season before Matt Reis could clear it.
  • The Revs struck against the run of play for a second time to grasp the lead. Sene robbed defender Geoff Cameron of possession in the middle third and surged down the left into the Dynamo penalty area, capping off the one-man move by thumping home his second of the night past goalkeeper Tally Hall at the near post.
  • Yet the Dynamo came back to secure a draw with three minutes remaining. Brian Ching and Luiz Camargo played a quick one-two on the edge of the Revolution penalty area with the forward clipping the ball over the New England back four into Camargo's path on the left side of the penalty area, and the Brazilian midfielder kept his composure and polished off the move with his first MLS goal.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers at BBVA Compass Stadium. Adam Moffat and Je-Vaughn Watson came into the midfield for Nathan Sturgis and Luiz Camargo, and Brian Ching replaced Macoumba Kandji in attack.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Jermaine Taylor, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Calen Carr (Macoumba Kandji 76), Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Camargo 66), Brad Davis (Colin Clark 70) - Will Bruin, Brian Ching.

TEAM NEWS

Anatomy of a Goal: Luiz Camargo

  • While the Dynamo were able to salvage a late point, they saw their road winless streak stretched to six games, after opening the season with seven consecutive away from Houston.
  • "We came back twice which is good to see. It's been a tough stretch for us," said Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear. "We played some real good stuff in the first half, and to go down a goal and get one back is good. Then I think we gave up a pretty silly goal, but we fought back hard to get back in the game. All credit to the guys. I think we scored in the 87th minute so their effort was fantastic tonight."
  • The Dynamo return home for a third game at their new BBVA Compass Stadium, where they have a win and a draw (and have not yet allowed a goal).
  • "Typically we are a better team at home then on the road. We're undefeated in three games now, so we would like to keep that going," said midfielder Adam Moffat. "We don't want to just be undefeated, but we want to win the games as well."
  • Will Bruin scored his fifth goal of the season, all over the last seven games (since April 15). He has matched his league output from his rookie season of a year ago, that coming over 25 appearances.
  • Luiz Camargo scored his first goal since coming to MLS to give the Dynamo the late draw.
  • "It's [Bruin's] fifth goal. I think he's tied for what he did last year, so Will is off to a good start this season. And Luiz Camargo scored his first goal for us at the very end so it's good to see Luiz get on the score sheet," said Dominic Kinnear. "I'm sure it's going to give both guys confidence as we continue the season."
  • Calen Carr made his fourth consecutive start, all coming wide on the right of midfield. "[Calen is] a smart player and he's figured out the wide position pretty well," Kinnear said. "I think slowly but surely he's figured it out and is a smart player and is getting better with every game."
  • Said Brad Davis: "Since he's been back he's been knocking on the doorstep of getting playing time. We have a pretty good depth chart on this team so it's a matter of being a tough team to crack. I think he's made the most of his [opportunity] and has played great since coming off for us."

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy stunningly saw their winless streak stretched to six games, the San Jose Earthquakes coming back from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 11 points from 12 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: LA let California Clasico slip away

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took an early lead. Barely three minutes in, Juninho slipped a ball into the penalty area for Chad Barrett, who then sent a backheel to a charging Hector Jimenez. He then beat San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch with a shot to the far post.
  • The match changed on the hour when Jimenez was sent off by referee Jair Marrufo after a studs-up tackle on Steven Beitashour.
  • Yet it was the Galaxy who doubled their lead in the 73rd minute. On a counter, David Beckham floated a ball to Mike Magee on the left side. Magee faked a pass, shook himself around the goalkeeper and buried the ball into the roof of the goal.
  • But the Quakes came right back down and cut the lead in half three minutes later when Marvin Chavez whipped in a corner kick and Steven Lenhart buried a diving header into the back of the goal.
  • San Jose found the equalizer with eight minutes remaining. Jason Hernandez unloaded a shot from the corner of the area and Beckham got a piece of it with his arm. Khari Stephenson easily converted the resulting penalty.
  • There was one final twist in stoppage time. Hernandez launched a long ball into the Galaxy area and Alan Gordon took advantage of indecision with the bouncing ball, looping a header over Brian Perk's head as the Earthquakes escaped with a stunning victory.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made five changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. Bryan Gaul started in place of the suspended David Junior Lopes, Hector Jimenez and David Beckham came into the midfield for Marcelo Sarvas and Kyle Nakazawa, and Chad Barrettand Edson Buddle formed the strike pair in place of Pat Noonan and Landon Donovan.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Perk - Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (sent off 59), Juninho (Michael Stephens 85), David Beckham, Mike Magee - Chad Barrett, Edson Buddle (Kyle Nakazawa 68).

TEAM NEWS

Galaxy react to meeting with the First Lady

  • The Galaxy saw their winless streak reach six games, the club's longest since the end of the 2008 season and the beginning of 2009.
  • "It's obviously disappointing, but I think the effort was there tonight. I think we battled the whole game so it's obviously a difficult one to lose. But I think overall we showed a lot of character tonight. I think if we had played like this against Chivas we would have won the game," said David Beckham. "It's another loss, obviously it's disappointing for us, but I think overall the character and the way we played was a plus tonight."
  • It was the second time this season the Galaxy scored the game's opening goal and lost it late. They allowed three goals to Real Salt Lake over the final 18 minutes in a 3-1 loss in the season opener.
  • "There's still no excuse for us to not at least get a point out of this game. That's disappointing because it was really a very good effort on our part and at 2-0 things looked real good. Certainly inexperience and fatigue set in and some poor play tactically," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "We played awful well tonight not to get something out of this game. It's a shame. You make your own breaks and tonight we were positioned to get three points and really turned that game over."
  • Rookie Hector Jimenez made his professional debut and scored a goal within three minutes - and was then sent off before the hour.
  • "It felt good. First two minutes of my first start, it definitely builds confidence during the game and like I said I felt good, I felt like I was doing good and unfortunately it turned into a position at the end there with the red card," Jimenez said.
  • Another rookie Bryan Gaul made his second start, also starting the 2-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC on May 2.
  • "He played very well, but a young player, as he got tired he made some mistakes. He was marking Lenhart on the corner kick goal. At the end he's on the ground too much, he has to stay stronger," said Arena. "We just made too many mistakes, but his performance was encouraging."