New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview

NEvHOU, 9-27-2013

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USA TODAY Sports

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
Sept. 28, 2013 (WEEK 31, MLS Game #283)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; CSN-Hou2/KTBU)

The New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo face off in a crucial match in the postseason futures for both teams when they meet Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Both teams come into the game holding spots in the top five in the division, the Dynamo in fourth place, three points ahead of the Revolution. The Dynamo have won back-to-back games, following their dominant 5-1 home win against Chivas USA last weekend; the Revolution snapped a two-game losing streak last weekend in a 2-1 home win vs. D.C. United.

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REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 65 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 8; pens: 9

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe … HOU: Andrew Driver, Boniek Garcia
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Juan Toja, Dimitry Imbongo, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves … HOU: Corey Ashe
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Revolution 7 wins, 21 goals … Dynamo 4 wins, 16 goals … Ties 5
AT NEW ENGLAND (8 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 12 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 4

2013 (MLS)
5/18: HOU 0, NE 2 (Fagundez 51; Agudelo 84)
7/13: NE 1, HOU 2 (Sene 55 – Moffat 49, 80)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Adam Moffat scored a pair of goals – both on long-range bombs – to lead Houston to a 2-1 victory July 13 at Gillette Stadium. Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo scored goals in a 2-0 New England victory on May 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Revolution have won on five of their last seven visits to Houston. New England last defeated Houston at Gillette Stadium in 2010.
  • 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: Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P21 W7 L7 D7 … Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P4 W1 L2 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The Dynamo took the lead four minutes into the second half. Andrew Driver sent a corner kick into the mixer, where it was headed away by Revolution striker Chad Barrett. But the clearance fell to Adam Moffat, who immediately volleyed past the dive of New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth from well outside the area.
  • The Revs wasted no time filing their response when Diego Fagundez raced into the box and drove a low cross into the area. The ball was only parried by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, right to the feet of Saer Sene, and he pushed home the point-blank effort in the 55th minute.
  • The game-winner came in the 80th minute, again on a stunning long-range strike from Moffat. From all of 25 yards, he fired a shot that smacked the post before it deflected off Shuttleworth’s back and into the net.
  • The Revolution finished the game a man down after Dimitry Imbongo was sent off in the 82nd minute.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney (Juan Toja 86) - Scott Caldwell - Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez - Chad Barrett (Dimitry Imbongo 55; ejected 82).
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes (Warren Creavalle 92+), Cam Weaver (Brian Ching 90).

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution put an end to their two-game losing slide, coming back for a 2-1 win against D.C. United on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points from 29 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • United claimed the lead on 11 minutes with some help from the Revolution defense. Luis Silva curled a cross into the penalty area from the left and Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell lunged to clear, but he poked the ball back past the onrushing Matt Reis into his own goal.
  • New England was given a glorious opportunity to level terms 10 minutes after the second half restart. United's Dejan Jakovic appeared to tackle cleanly away from Lee Nguyen but referee Juan Carlos Rivero pointed to the spot. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid salvaged the situation by diving to his right to save Nguyen's low attempt from the resulting penalty.
  • Three minutes later, the home side had equalized. Diego Fagundez made a clever run as the offside flag stayed down to latch onto Saer Sene's throughball, and he made no mistake in slotting home past Hamid.
  • The winner finally came seven minutes from time as Nguyen won a second penalty with a neat run on the right side of the penalty area. He assumed the duties once more and clipped his effort home to hand the Revs a critical victory.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that lost 3-2 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Matt Reis came back from suspension to replace Bobby Shuttleworth between the posts, and A.J. Soares started in the back in place of Stephen McCarthy.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Matt Reis - Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Scott Caldwell - Diego Fagundez (Andy Dorman 90), Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Saer Sene (Chad Barrett 86) - Dimitry Imbongo (Jerry Bengtson 79)

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution put an end to their winless streak after three games, their longest of the season since going five games in a row without a victory from March 16-April 20.
  • “We are going one game at a time. So every game we step on the field we are preparing for a must-win. And I think we’re at the point now in the season where points are vital and we have to go out there and do whatever we can to get three, especially at home,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said.
  • Diego Fagundez netted his fourth goal in the last five games. Fagundez is the first teenager in MLS history to score 10 or more goals in a single season; he now has 11 on the campaign.
  • “We all said that it’s a must-win game. We’re in the playoffs right now. This game was part of our playoff games, so it was very important,” Fagundez said. “We all came out here and we knew that we had to give it everything we had, and we went out there and did everything we could, and we got results.”
  • Saer Sene recorded an assist for a third consecutive game, and now has five for the season. He was in the first XI for a second consecutive match, his first starts since Aug. 10.
  • “I still thought we figured a way in the second half to find little slicing balls – even though we had less room because it was tighter – to find Diego (Fagundez), who I thought did a nice job. I thought Lee (Nguyen) was doing a good job of getting in and behind there,” said Heaps.
  • Lee Nguyen scored his first goal since June 2, his third marker of the season. Earlier in the game he missed a penalty kick for the first time in MLS; he’s now 2-for-3 in spot kicks in two MLS seasons.
  • “That was another gutsy performance from (Lee Nguyen) because those are not easy,” Heaps said. “You’re talking about a guy who has missed a couple of PKs in his career. Those are tougher than own goals, because own goals aren’t really your fault. PKs are tough to come back from and I thought Lee stepped up and really delivered.”
  • Said Nguyen: “Last year, we probably would have dug ourselves into a deeper hole. You can tell the belief of the team is there. We’ve came back more than once. So we knew that this week’s wasn’t any different than any of the past games.”

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo won their second successive match in impressive fashion, rolling to a 5-1 win against Chivas USA on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points from 29 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead in the 39th minute. Brad Davis placed a corner kick in the perfect spot for Giles Barnes, who shook loose of a defender to nod home the game’s first goal. Davis became the seventh player to notch 100 regular-season assists in MLS history.
  • Chivas found an equalizer in the 50th minute. A giveaway led to a shot from Carlos Alvarez, whose effort clanged off the left post. But the rebound floated across the box and Eric Avila headed it into the empty net.
  • Houston grabbed the lead back just four minutes later. Barnes was played in on an excellent through ball by Ricardo Clark, and he cashed in from just outside the penalty area.
  • In the 63rd minute, the Dynamo made it 3-0. Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy seemed to have clearance of a through ball under control, only for the ball to nick past his outstretched foot and fall kindly for Will Bruin as he advanced into the penalty box alone, and he made no mistake, placing his effort out of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy’s reach.
  • The Dynamo made it 4-1 in the 79th minute following a fluid passing sequence where Boniek Garcia was the beneficiary, knocking home a low bouncer. The rout was complete in stoppage time after Garcia converted a penalty kick goal after a handball at the goal line.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that defeated Philadelphia Union 1-0 at PPL Park. Corey Ashe came in at left back and Boniek Garcia returned to the midfield, in place of Jason Johnson and Cam Weaver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Servando Carrasco 83) - Will Bruin (Omar Cummings 81), Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 75).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo tied their club record with their five goals vs. Chivas USA. They had previous scored five goals in the first game in club history, a 5-2 win vs. Colorado on April 2, 2006.
  • “We made a little bit of a boo-boo for them to get their goal. But the guys kept on pressing and were relieved to get a goal back right away,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I think to get that goal it gave them a lift and maybe [Barnes' second] knocks them down a little bit. That goal right after they scored was huge for us.”
  • The consecutive wins have also come after a four-game winless streak, the second-longest of the season for the Dynamo, after going seven games without a win from May 12-June 30.
  • “I think the way we responded says a lot about this team,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “It’s something we hadn’t done earlier and the middle part of this season and it’s something we’re doing now.”
  • Giles Barnes scored a pair of goals in a game for the second time this season, the first time coming when he netted his last goals in MLS play, in the 3-1 win vs. Seattle on Aug. 17.
  • Boniek Garcia also scored his first two goals of the season, his first league goals since scoring in the final game of the 2012 regular season vs. Philadelphia.
  • Brad Davis recorded an assist for a second consecutive game and now has 100 assists for his MLS league career, the seventh player in league history to reach the century mark in assists.
  • Will Bruin scored his first goal since Aug. 17, and also added an assist, his seventh of the season. It was the fourth time this season he’s scored a goal and contributed an assist in the same game, including each of the last three MLS games where he’s hit the back of the net.
  • “A few weeks ago, maybe we put our heads down and feel sorry for ourselves,” said Bruin. This week we’ve had a few meetings and have really come together a lot as a team and these last two performances have shown that.”
  • On Wednesday, the Dynamo remained undefeated in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 2-0 win against W Connection FC of Trinidad & Tobago at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jason Johnson and Bobby Boswell scored on either side of halftime for the Dynamo. The Dynamo will win the group with a tie or win in the final group match, vs. Árabe Unido on Oct. 24 in Panama.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Mike Chabala; Warren Creavalle (Ricardo Clark 58), Servando Carrasco, Alexander López (Boniek Garcia 69); Omar Cummings (Giles Barnes 79), Cam Weaver, Jason Johnson