Preview: Whitecaps welcome Dynamo in return to MLS action

VAN vs. HOU, 6-10-12

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
June 10, 2012 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #122)
7 p.m. ET (SNET Pac; FS-Hou)

The only league encounter in Week 14 of the MLS season will take place in British Columbia, as Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to the Houston Dynamo at BC Place. The Whitecaps are coming off back-to-back road draws in the Cascadia Cup, again netting a late goal for a 1-1 tie in Portland two weeks ago. The Dynamo are coming off a victory in a rematch of MLS Cup 2011, a 2-1 defeat of the LA Galaxy that maintained their unbeaten home league record.

REFEREE: Ramon Hernandez. SAR (bench): Fabio Tovar; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Yader Reyes
MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 28.5; Y/gm: 4.4; R: 7; pens: 9

INJURY REPORT: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: GK Brian Sylvestre (R knee surgery recovery); FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery recovery) … HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: DF Kofi Sarkodie (R foot sprain); DF Alex Dixon (concussion); FW Will Bruin (concussion); DOUBTFUL: GK Erich Marscheider (R shoulder sprain)

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Eric Hassli, Gershon Koffie
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: VAN: Jun Marques Davidson, Martin Bonjour

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Michael Boxall (New Zealand); Omar Salgado (U.S. U-20) … HOU: Geoff Cameron (USA); Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica); André Hainault (Canada)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 2 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 0
AT VANCOUVER (1 meeting): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 1 goal … Dynamo 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0

LAST YEAR
4/10: HOU 3, VAN 1 (Weaver 37; Boswell 42; Bruin 76 – Camilo 38)
8/27: VAN 1, HOU 0 (Salinas 86)
• This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
• The teams split their meetings in Whitecaps FC’s inaugural MLS season. Vancouver won 1-0 at Empire Field on Aug. 27, after the Dynamo took a 3-1 win in Houston on Aug. 10.
• Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v VAN: P2 W1 L1 D0 … Martin Rennie vs. HOU: first game

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC played to a second draw in as many Cascadia Cup matches, coming back for a 1-1 result with the Portland Timbers in their last match, May 26 at JELD-WEN Field. Whitecaps FC are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 18 points from 11 games.

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: POR 1, VAN 1

• The game had an extended delay during halftime after a thunderstorm moved over the stadium with about 10 minutes left in the first half.
• Both goals then came after the break. In the 67th minute, a cross from fullback Jack Jewsbury was punched out by Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon. But Kris Boyd was right there, and with his back to goal hooked the ball past Cannon from close range for the opener.
• Vancouver leveled the score in the 84th minute when second-half substitute Darren Mattocks chested down Eric Hassli's header in the box, took a pair of touches to get past a defender and fired a right-footed blast past a diving Troy Perkins.
• Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place. Camilo and John Thorrington came into the team, in place of Darren Mattocks and Omar Salgado.
• VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC(4-3-3): Joe Cannon – Lee Young-Pyo, Jay DeMerit, Martin Bonjour, Alain Rochat – Gershon Koffie (Eric Hassli 72), Jun Marques Davidson, John Thorrington – Camilo (Darren Mattocks 83), Sebastien Le Toux, Davide Chiumiento.
 

TEAM NEWS
• For the second time in four matches, Whitecaps FC scored a goal in the final 10 minutes to rescue points. They have scored four goals in the final quarter-hour this season; those two have led directly to four additional points in the standings.
• “I think in a number of occasions we fought to the end of games. I don’t think there was ever a moment of doubt by that. We talked about the fact that Portland loses a lot of goals in the final 15 minutes of games. Because of that, I think it stuck in our minds,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “We just kept going and I don’t think there’s a lot of games you can question the quality of play by these guys. Today they showed it again, they showed the desire right to the end.”
• Whitecaps FC have now gone winless over their last five games in all competitions, the draw in Portland following a loss in the second leg of the Canadian Championship to Toronto FC. The club’s last win came May 9 vs. FC Edmonton.
• “Coming off the disappointment of Wednesday, we showed the right response that we needed, and hopefully we will have our moment to move forward,” said midfielder John Thorrington. “We’ve had a lot of tired legs and a lot of minutes. To go down 1-0 in a place like this and to come back really speaks to the character of the guys in the locker room.”
• After conceding six goals in the previous two matches, Whitecaps FC restored some defensive stability in Portland, though they have still gone seven matches over all competitions without a clean sheet.
• “For us, it’s about being consistent – consistently doing well and consistently winning games,” Rennie said. “When we’ve had our first choice back four playing, we’ve only lost three goals in MLS, so we want to keep our back four together as much as we can because that’s a fantastic record.”
• Thorrington made his first start in a league game since April 18, having come on as a second-half substitute in three of the previous five games. He had started all four games in the Canadian Championship.
• “I think his performance made him the man of the match tonight. He was one of the guys I noticed was most disappointed with what happened Wednesday,” said Rennie. “He was one of the guys that got everyone together, and I think his performance really gave us that spark. When he plays at that kind of level you saw (against Portland), it shows he is going to be that great of a player for us.”
• Darren Mattocks scored his first MLS goal, making his third consecutive appearance after missing three months following burns suffered in a household accident. Mattocks had scored his first professional goal in a Canadian Championship match vs. Edmonton.
• “It’s really nice seeing his confidence grow. The one thing about him is he always makes chances for himself. If he can keep playing and taking those chances, then we have a really special player on our hands,” said Rennie.
• Following their last league match, Whitecaps FC have taken some well-deserved time off. “We’ve played a ton of games in a short period of time, and traveling to the east coast three times within that span can really tire you out,” Rennie said.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo extended their undefeated streak to four games and remained undefeated in league play in their new home, defeating the LA Galaxy 2-1 in a rematch of MLS Cup 2011 in their last match, May 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points from 11 games.
 

LAST MATCH

HIGHLIGHTS: HOU 2, LA 1

• The Galaxy took an early lead. Edson Buddle, David Beckham and Chad Barrett carved up the Dynamo defense with three excellent passes, and the ball ended up at the feet of Buddle, who exploited space between Bobby Boswell and André Hainault to slot home a smooth right-to-left finish in the 10th minute.
• The Dynamo drew level thanks to some good fortune. Brian Ching's shot crashed off the crossbar but unfortunately for Mike Magee and the Galaxy, his attempt to bring the ball down resulted in a rebound into an empty net.
• The Dynamo then scored the match-winner in the 57th minute, when Hainault headed home an in-swinging corner from Brad Davis into the bottom corner.
• Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that reached a late 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Andre Hainault came in for Geoff Cameron, away on international duty.
• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall – André Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe – Calen Carr (Colin Clark 75), Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson, Brad Davis (Luiz Camargo 84) – Will Bruin, Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 72).
 

TEAM NEWS
• The Dynamo conceded their first goal in league play in their new home, but still remained undefeated there with a second victory (to go with a draw) in three matches.
• Brad Davis, who led MLS with 16 assists a season ago, recorded his second assist of the season on the match-winner. Both assists have come in the last two games.
• “You don’t like to go back that far, but I don’t think we tested their defense from wide areas on crosses,” Dominic Kinnear said. “Having Brad there is a benefit when you have a dead-ball situation and when you have aggressive guys attacking the ball.”
• The game-winning goal was the third from a corner kick this season for the Dynamo, tied with D.C. United and San Jose for most in MLS. They tied for the league lead (with Real Salt Lake) with nine goals from corners a season ago.
• “It’s very important and it’s been the culture of this team,” Davis said. “We’re starting to understand each other and I like the way we play. Getting the ball wide, getting it in the box and I think we did a good job of that.” But they have just one goal from a cross from open play this season, after scoring 11 via that route a year ago.
• “We have a young team. Last year, we didn’t move the ball as well as we are this year,” Davis said. “I think the maturity of this group shows. There are a lot of young guys here, but we are starting to understand each other and get into a groove. Once we got the lead (against LA), we were composed. We settled down, moved the ball and made them chase the game.”
• The Dynamo were without linchpin Geoff Cameron for the first time this season, as he was with the U.S. national team in advance of the start of World Cup qualifying. André Hainault – ahead of his own departure for international duty with Canada – started for just the second time in five games and scored his second goal of the season.
• “The team is deep enough that we can move players in and out. Geoff is a big player for us but he is out and we have to fill the gaps,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “I think we did an awesome job with the guys on the field. There was no different mentality going out there. We just needed to go out and get three points.”
• The Wednesday following the league match, the Dynamo had their US Open Cup run ended at the first hurdle, losing 1-0 to the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions in a third-round tie. The game’s lone goal came on a penalty kick converted by San Antonio’s Hans Denissen in the 51st minute.
• Here’s the Dynamo team from their maych at San Antonio: Tyler Deric; Warren Creavalle, Bobby Boswell (Josue Soto 75), Nathan Sturgis, Oscar Recio; Alex Dixon, Luiz Camargo, Adam Moffat (Brian Ownby 62), Colin Clark, Macoumba Kandji (Colin Rolfe 62), Cam Weaver
• The Dynamo also lost for the first time in their new ground, a 2-1 loss in a friedly to Valencia CF of Spain in the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup. Aritz Aduriz scored twice for Valencia, answered by a goal from Houston’s Calen Carr, as all three goals came in the opening 17 minutes.
• “These games, most of the time, we say will test the depth of the squad, but now the depth is being taken away,” Kinnear said. “The guys have to be really ready and the standards can’t drop because you want the team to win.”