Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs FC DALLAS
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
April 5, 2013 (WEEK 5, MLS Game #41)
7 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; TWCSN-TX)
MLS Free Stream of the Week

The Texas Derby for 2014 is ahead on Saturday evening when the Houston Dynamo play host to FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium in their lone league encounter this season. The Dynamo return home, where they haven’t allowed a goal this year, following a 2-1 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend. FC Dallas lead the Western Conference and are undefeated on the season, coming off a 2-1 home win against the Portland Timbers last weekend.

REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 182 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 51; pens: 63

SUSPENDED: none
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Dynamo 9 wins, 30 goals … FC Dallas 4 wins, 22 goals … Ties 7
AT HOUSTON (10 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 17 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 12 goals … Ties 3

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/17: DAL 3, HOU 2 (John 34; Jacobson 35; Cooper 90 – Driver 79; Davis 83)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • FC Dallas took the lone meeting between the clubs a year ago, a 3-2 win in Frisco on March 17, their first victory against the Dynamo since 2010. FCD went nearly three years and nine games without a win against their in-state rivals, until a win in 2009.
  • FC Dallas has won once all-time in Houston in 12 meetings in all competitions, the 1-0 victory at Robertson Stadium on May 5, 2010.
  • The clubs play for “El Capitán”, the 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon to be awarded to the winner of the season series by supporters groups for both clubs.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. DAL: P28 W12 L5 D11 … Oscar Pareja vs. HOU: P2 W1 L0 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo return home off their first defeat of the season, falling 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. The Dynamo are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 3 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC scored the opener in the 14th minute. Pedro Morales sent a pinpoint right-footed cross from the left onto the head of Andy O'Brien's, and he sent the ball across goal where Jordan Harvey pounced on it to tuck the ball past Tally Hall from close range.
  • Vancouver then doubled the lead in the 58th minute. After Kofi Sarkodie handled the ball in the box, Kenny Miller had to take the resulting penalty kick twice, scoring both times – after referee Kevin Stott blew down Miller's initial spot kick due to encroachment by a number of Whitecaps players.
  • The Dynamo narrowed the lead in the 75th minute when Ricardo Clark headed home a Brad Davis free kick, finding the bottom right corner past goalkeeper David Ousted.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that took a 1-0 win against the Montréal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor (Brian Ownby 77), David Horst, Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver (Mark Sherrod 86), Boniek Garcia (Omar Cummings 71), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo return home off a loss from their first road trip having won both games at BBVA Compass Stadium, while also yet to allow a goal on their home ground.
  • “We’d love to go 34-0, but it’s not going to happen,” Brad Davis said. “We talked about it and we looked at things even in the games we won that we could do better. So now it’s about going back, working hard and growing as a group.”
  • The Dynamo saw their shutout streak to open the season come to an end after 194 minutes with the opening Vancouver goal.
  • “I thought we came out for the second half good and we put some pressure on them, but obviously they caught us on the break and got the call and we were 2-0 down which is difficult,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Did we have some bad luck? Possibly. At the end of it Vancouver got the win and we look forward to next week.”
  • Ricardo Clark scored his first goal of the season, and ensured he will continue his streak of having scored in every one of his 10 MLS seasons. He has scored three goals in his last 10 league games, dating back to last Sept. 14.
  • “I just found an opening in there and I tried to take an advantage of it, and I did,” Clark said. “I think we showed a lot of character to fight back and were unfortunate not to get another one to tie it up.”
  • The lone Dynamo goal also came from a free kick, their first this season from a dead ball situation after their five goals were all from open play.
  • “That’s just being tough in the box on set pieces and staying with runners,” Davis said. “They had two guys in there that followed the ball and we just need to be tough in the box and stay with runners. In that situation we were unable to and Harvey goes in and is able to score.”
  • Brad Davis recorded his first assist of the season vs. Vancouver. A year ago, Davis had nine assists – after four consecutive seasons where he hit double-digits in assists.

FC DALLAS
FC Dallas remained undefeated to open the season, getting a late winner for a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas sit atop the Western Conference with 10 points from 4 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Before halftime, both teams were a man down as Portland’s Michael Harrington and FCD's Je-Vaughn Watson were both sent off by referee Sorin Stoica in the 39th minute for an off-the-ball incident.
  • FC Dallas took the lead in first-half stoppage time. Jair Benitez played in a far-post cross which was headed into the ground by Kellyn Acosta, and then headed past Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber by an unmarked Blas Perez.
  • But the visitors drew level on an odd play in the 66th minute. Portland forward Maximiliano Urruti’s pass for substitute Kalif Alhassan deflected off the foot of Dallas captain Matt Hedges, wrongfooting goalkeeper Chris Seitz as it caromed into the net.
  • Yet FC Dallas had one final answer. After the ball was sent back into the danger zone following an FCD free kick, Mauro Díaz shifted to his right in the heart of the area and fired a low shot past Weber for the 84th-minute match-winner.
  • FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made two changes to the team that claimed a 3-1 win against Chivas USA at Toyota Stadium. Michel and Victor Ulloa came into the midfield, in place of the suspended Hendry Thomas and injured Adam Moffat.
  • FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Chris Seitz - Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges, Stephen Keel, Jair Benitez - Michel, Victor Ulloa (Zach Loyd 87) - Je-Vaughn Watson (ejected 40), Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo (Moises Hernandez 90) - Blas Perez (David Texeira 66).

TEAM NEWS

  • FC Dallas extended their season-opening undefeated run to four games. It’s the first time since 2009 they’ve started the season unbeaten in four games, which is the club record, having done it now six times.
  • “We've started well and we're happy. We know where we are and we don't want to think too much about what we have not done before We're developing a culture of taking it one game at a time, without giving importance to what happened last season or what will happen,” said FCD head coach Oscar Pareja. “The league is intense and the season is long. We have our feet on the ground and are taking it one game at a time.”
  • Mauro Díaz and Blas Pérez each scored their second goals of the season, after each scored in the season-opening 3-2 win against Chivas USA.
  • “The first 15-20 minutes, it was a little difficult. We struggled a little bit trying to keep possession, but after that we played well, found our game, found our goal,” said Díaz. “And in the second half it was a lucky bounce and they got their goal, but we never put our heads down, we kept fighting and then we got our second goal and the whole team fought.”
  • Homegrown Player Victor Ulloa was given his first career start in MLS, playing 87 minutes in a midfield role. His full MLS debut had come in 2011, a late substitute appearance vs. San Jose on Oct. 22.
  • His second half was great. He proved to himself and many people that he can play this game. I'm very proud of Victor,” said Pareja. “For him, [it] is special because he is a kid who has overcome a lot of challenges. Tonight was a good show of that character. Soccer has not given him anything. He has earned it. Every inch he has gotten in this game, he's earned.”
  • Ulloa played alongside Michel in the holding midfield roles, with Andrew Jacobson and Adam Moffat both out with injuries and Hendry Thomas suspended after being sent off the week before. For Michel, it was his first start of the league season.
  • “We just slid Michel and Victor (Ulloa) in and they did a tremendous job,” said defender Kellyn Acosta. “(For) two players who don't exactly play with each other all the time, I thought they had a lot of chemistry together. They worked hard and they played well.”