MLS Match Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
March 23, 2013 (WEEK 4, MLS Game #30)
7:30 p.m. CT (CSN Hou; SNET Pac)

 

The Houston Dynamo put their long home unbeaten streak on the line with a difficult test as they take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are coming a late 3-2 Rivalry Week loss last weekend at FC Dallas, following an opening weekend home opener win. Whitecaps FC return to action after a week off, their last match a second win in two starts, a 2-1 home win against the Columbus Crew.

REFEREE: Matthew Foerster. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 7 games; FC/gm: 24.9; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 0; pens: 3

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Brad Davis (USA; vs. Costa Rica); Boniek GarcÌa (Honduras; vs. Mexico); Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica; vs. Panama) Ö VAN: Kenny Miller (Scotland; vs. Wales)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals Ö Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 5 goals Ö Ties 0
AT HOUSTON (1 meeting): Dynamo 1 win, 3 goals Ö Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal Ö Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/10: VAN 3, HOU 1 (Mattocks 4, 66; Harvey 88 -- Kandji 83)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Whitecaps FC won 3-1 in the only meeting last season, June 10 at BC Place, their second consecutive victory against the Dynamo, both coming at home.
  • The Dynamo have won the only meeting between the teams in Houston, the first encounter ever, April 10, 2011 at Robertson Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. VAN: P3 W1 L2 D0Ö Martin Rennie vs. HOU: P1 W1 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo return home after dropping their first match of the young season, FC Dallas getting a late goal for a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon in Frisco.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 34th minute. Michel floated in a free kick from 40 yards that found the head of Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell. His attempted clearance came off the back of FCDís George John, bounding past Tally Hall and into the corner of the net.
  • Dallas doubled their advantage just a minute later when David Ferreiraís corner was blasted home by Andrew Jacobson for his first goal of the season.
  • The Dynamo pulled a goal back in the 79th minute. Kofi Sarkodie took the ball from Michel in the right corner and slipped the ball across the box to Andrew Driver, who slammed a left-footed drive off the crossbar and off the turf into the goal.
  • The visitors then tied the score in the 83rd minute as FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez spilled a Cam Weaver cross into the path of Brad Davis, who easily curled the rebound into the empty net.
  • But the Texas Derby had one final twist as Kenny Cooper won ìEl Capit·nî in the 90th minute. Michel's cross looped over defender Je-Vaughn Watson and while Cooper missed a header, he made no mistake when the ball fell into his path, prodding home on the second chance.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that opened the season with a 2-0 victory against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie (Cam Weaver 81), Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat (Andrew Driver 69), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 49)

WATCH: Dynamo fall late to FC Dallas

TEAM NEWS

  • Known more for scoring goals from set pieces, the Dynamo conceded two goals to FC Dallas from standard situations. A season ago, the Dynamo allowed just five goals from deadball situations, the best record in MLS.
  • "We just didnít take care of the set pieces side of it. They delivered some good balls and attacked it well and got some good bounces," said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. "So in the second half we changed it up a little bit and got back in the game, but that last little play there was enough to give Dallas the win."
  • Said center back Bobby Boswell: "I just think we were pushing it. We had spells in the first half when we were good but gave up two goals on set pieces, which is uncharacteristic of this team. Credit to our guys, we did change our formations a bit and our personnel, and we were really pushing hard."
  • Brad Davis scored his first league goal of the season, but it was his second goal this season, having also scored in the CONCACAF Champions League series with Mexicoís Santos Laguna.
  • Andrew Driver made his MLS debut, coming on for Adam Moffat, and scored his first goal in the league just 10 minutes after entering the match.
  • "I think Andrew's done a great job of acclimatizing himself already, he's come on and given us great minutes to this point and I think we're all excited to see Omar [Cummings]," said Brian Ching. "We know he's a proven commodity in this league, he's a guy that's gotten along well with us in preseason. We know he's a little frustrated that he got injured in preseason so we know he's got that drive to get out there and hopefully continue the success that he's had so far in the league."
  • Over the last two matches (including the CCL match), the Dynamo have conceded six goals. "Overall, I think itís just uncharacteristic," said Boswell. "It's not good and it's not like it's a lot of stuff from the run of play. It's set pieces, penalties, but itís early on and we'll sort it out."
  • Said Kinnear: "There are good moments and bad moments whether itís the first game or second or 28th game. Youíve just got to try and keep confidence in yourself and each other and thatís what makes for a good team."
  • The Dynamo come into the game with their league home undefeated streak at 26 games after the season-opening victory vs. D.C. United, three games shy of the all-time record set by Real Salt Lake (6/6/09 & 5/14/11).
  • The Dynamo will see first-choice performers away on national team duty, with Davis called in by the USA. Jermaine Taylor will join Jamaica, and Boniek GarcÌa is with Honduras.
  • "It's going to be a difficult game, we're missing some of our key guys, Jermaine and Boniek, and Will going down with an injury - but having said that this team's always gotten on with call-ups and things in the past. This is a chance for these guys to step in and compete for starting spots," said Brian Ching. "Dom brought them in to play, not to sit on the bench and be back-ups."

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC return to action after a weekend off, starting their season with two wins in as many matches following a 2-1 win against the Columbus Crew on March 9 at BC Place.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC were in the lead just six minutes in. Daigo Kobayashi caught Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum off his line and hit a lofted shot into the top left corner from all of 30 yards out, his first goal in MLS.
  • The Crew equalized through Jairo Arrieta in the 46th minute. He sent Joe Cannon the wrong way in firing a shot into the bottom right corner after receiving a pass from rookie Ben Speas.
  • But Vancouver scored the winner just before the hour. Kenny Miller dispossessed defender Glauber after he Brazilian on the ball following a pass from Gruenebaum, and Miller proceeded to race in on goal and fire a shot past the helpless Crew goalkeeper.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that defeated  Toronto FC 1-0 at BC Place. Brad Rusin came into the back four for the injured Jay DeMerit, and Nigel Reo-Coker started in place of Kekuta Manneh.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Brad Rusin, Andy O'Brien, Alain Rochat - Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie - Nigel Reo-Coker, Daigo Kobayashi (Erik Hurtado 77), Kenny Miller - Darren Mattocks (Camilo Sanvezzo 67).

WATCH: Whitecaps top Crew to stay unbeaten

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC are off to a good start for a second consecutive season, returning to action after a week off following their second win in two starts. Last year, Whitecaps FC opened the season with four consecutive shutouts, posting two wins and two draws.
  • "It was definitely more chances created than ever since Iíve been coach here which is an encouraging side because first we tried to do initially is make our team solid defensively and then improving our possession, because of our possession being better we created more chances," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "That's what we want to be doing but we also want to be taking those chances and putting a flair reflection on the score."
  • Daigo Kobayashiís first MLS goal was a stunning long-range blast that set Whitecaps FC on their way to the win vs. Columbus, a strike that won MLS Goal of the Week honors.
  • "That spell of the game we were playing very well and the movement that Daigo got on the ball had him in dangerous areas and they backed off a little bit and he couldnít have made it any better," said Rennie. "Has there been a better goal than that in BC Place? For a while I donít think so; that has been the best for sure."
  • Said Kobayashi: "I felt it was a little bit too long. But I have my experience from that area I [have scored many previously]."
  • Kenny Miller scored his first goal of the season. A year ago, after arriving at the club at midseason, he scored two goals with one assist in 13 league appearances (eight as a starter).
  • "It's always nice to go off the mark as a striker. Youíre always going to be judged on goals," said Miller. "But again, I said before, more importantly two home games at the start of the season was an opportunity to put some early points on the board; maximum points for us, itís a delight to see that."
  • Said Rennie: "He's just like most players who come in part season, apart from Higuain. It takes a little time to settle but he was one of our best players in preseason and fantastic again, scoring a goal by closing down and chasing someone down. He definitely deserved it because he was running back to the left back all day and worked really hard for them team; showing how great of a player he is."