Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs LA GALAXY
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
May 17, 2014 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #97)
7:30 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; TWCSN-LA/TWCD)

Having met in back-to-back years in MLS Cup, the Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy renew their rivalry when the clubs face off Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo come into the game after their modest two-game winning streak was put to an abrupt end in a 5-2 home loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Galaxy haven't won in their last three games, coming off a last-gasp 1-1 draw at the Portland Timbers last Sunday.

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REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho; 4th: Chris Penso
MLS Career: 72 games; FC/gm: 22.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 11; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: HOU: Servando Carrasco (through May 18)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Jermaine Taylor
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Brad Davis (USA) ... LA: Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Dynamo 7 wins, 20 goals Galaxy 6 wins, 18 goals Ties 4
AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 11 goals Galaxy 3 wins, 8 goals Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/5: LA 0, HOU 1 (Driver 56)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Dynamo have won the last three league meetings between the teams, claiming a 1-0 victory last May 5 in Carson in the only meeting between the clubs.
  • The Dynamo win last year ended a six-game Galaxy winning streak in all competitions at StubHub Center, including victories in MLS Cup 2011 and MLS Cup 2012. Houston's last win against the Galaxy in Carson had come in 2007, a 3-1 triumph.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. LA: P25 W11 L9 T5 Bruce Arena vs. HOU: P11 W5 L5 T1

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo saw their two-game winning run put to a sudden halt, falling 5-2 to Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 11 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Real were in the lead after just 15 seconds. With time and space some 25 yards out from goal, Javier Morales hit a deft chip to the back post that Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall could only watch.
  • It was 2-0 after just 17 minutes. After Ned Grabavoy hit a hopeful header off a corner from the top of the box, Morales cut across goal and redirected the effort into the goal for an early brace.
  • The Dynamo pulled a goal in the 22nd minute when Mark Sherrod pounded home a Brad Davis corner kick first-time from the top of the six-yard box
  • But things changed completely five minutes later when Servando Carrasco was shown a straight red for a harsh tackle on Morales. RSL restored their margin just 10 minutes later when Alvaro Saborio put a glancing header into the net off a Luke Mulholland cross.
  • The home side was given a glorious chance in the 36th minute when referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot after David Horst was shoved down on a set piece. Giles Barnes stepped to the spot, Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando continued his penalty kick heroics, diving to his right to stop the attempt.
  • The Dynamo were able to reduce the margin again in the 56th minute when Sherrod finished under a lunging Rimando, converting a feed from Giles Barnes after he picked off a lazy pass.
  • But RSL put the game away when Mulholland scored in the 78th minute goal after he was sent directly through on goal, then the final scoreline came in the 88th minute when Morales converted a penalty kick.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that got the game's only goal for a victory against the Columbus Crew at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mark Sherrod came into the attack in place of Will Bruin.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, A.J. Cochran (Omar Cummings 71), Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver (Warren Creavalle 35), Servando Carrasco (ejected 27), Brad Davis (Brian Ownby 84) - Boniek Garcia - Giles Barnes, Mark Sherrod.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo matched their club record with five goals allowed. It's the second time in the club's last 22 regular season games they allowed five goals, also conceding that many in a 5-0 loss at Montreal on Aug. 24, 2013.
  • "I think in general if you look at it I think it was a team thing. That's on us as players," said goalkeeper Tally Hall. "I think we were prepared well and then we got to the field and I just felt we didn't have that edge, at least in the first half, because in the second half we were down a man and playing against one of the best teams in the league and I felt like - until that fourth goal - this thing's actually going to happen. I believed 100 percent that we were going to come back and we were going to get a result out of that game that's how good the guys were fighting."
  • Making his first career MLS start, Mark Sherrod scored a pair of goals. He was the second player this season to score two goals in his first league start (along with Toronto FC's Jermain Defoe); he had made five substitute appearances totaling 31 minutes.
  • "It was good to get a goal. I've been dreaming of being able to play since forever ago and then to step on and get a goal was fantastic, so I was really happy," Sherrod said.
  • Brad Davis recorded his third assist in the last four matches after returning to the lineup following missing three games to injury.
  • "I thought we were playing well, we were moving the ball really well we were asking outside backs to take chances going forward and so with good ball movement we were getting some good possession that's where I think our chances came from," said head coach Dominic Kinnear.
  • The Dynamo saw a penalty kick saved for the second time this season, after Boniek Garcia had his attempt stopped by FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz on April 5. The Dynamo and the Chicago Fire are the only teams with multiple penalty misses this season.
  • "Giles [Barnes] took one against Chivas two games ago, so he felt confident going up; there you have it. We don't have a competition in practice to see who our penalty kicker is," Kinnear said. "But you know there's a handful of guys you look and go, 'OK, we feel confident with that guy,' and since Giles took the last one I felt confident, so he's the one to step up and take it."
  • Servando Carrasco was making a third consecutive start in a defensive midfield role in the place of Ricardo Clark, but he will miss the LA match through suspension after his first-half sending off.
  • "I put the team in a bad spot to have to play down to 10 men," Carrasco said. "If I just stay on my feet that probably doesn't happen. I have to apologize to every single guy in the locker room because that's completely my fault and not theirs. I could've avoided that situation altogether."

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy had their winless run extended to three games in cruel fashion, the Portland Timbers hitting for a late equalizer to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. The Galaxy sit in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 7 games.=

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took the lead two minutes into second-half stoppaget time when a long throw-in from Dan Gargan somehow traveled all the way to an unmarked Robbie Keane all alone in front of goal.
  • But the Timbers hit for an equally improbable equalizer three minutes later. Will Johnson somehow found Diego Valeri with a back heel in the penalty area, and his shot from the right side rolled just under Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to send the sell-out crowd into a frenzy.
  • Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Kofi Opare came into central defense in place of Omar Gonzalez.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Kofi Opare, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza - Stefan Ishizaki, Juninho, Baggio Husidic (Gyasi Zardes 83) - Landon Donovan - Rob Friend (Samuel 72), Robbie Keane.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy had their winless run extended to two draws and a loss in their third consecutive match away from StubHub Center.
  • "We have to manage the game better at the end. Five minutes of extra time on [Portland]'s injuries and all. You know, listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "A bunch of guys can do better on the play, but we played very well today. Should have walked away with three points."
  • The Galaxy have not won away from StubHub Center now in seven matches, since a 1-0 win at Vancouver last Aug. 24. The only Galaxy road win in that time came in Carson, in the 3-0 win vs. Chivas USA on April 6, when the Galaxy were the away team in the SuperClasico.
  • "If you look at the performance it's not that we're not playing well. We're doing the right things. We did the right things. We did the right things against Vancouver as well," said Keane. "At the end of the day it's about finishing the 90-plus minutes. We didn't do that. We lacked a bit of concentration at the end of the game, that cost us."
  • "It was the third time this season the Galaxy conceded a goal from the 80th minute onward to drop points, twice now allowing an equalizer that late in the last three games (also: Vancouver's Kekuta Manneh, 86th minute, 2-2 on April 19).
  • "It's difficult because that's two games now on the road, against Vancouver and Portland, playing on turf, which is always difficult. We played well both times and deserved to win both times. We certainly deserved to win, there's no question about it," said Keane. "We didn't, so what do you do" Just get on with it and move on and look forward to next week's game."
  • Keane scored his fifth goal in the last six matches, after seeing his goalscoring streak come to an end in the 1-0 loss at Colorado.
  • With Omar Gonzalez out with the knee injury that forced him from the field at halftime of the May 3 loss in Colorado, Kofi Opare made his first start of the season in central defense.
  • Landon Donovan was unable to score his MLS record 135th goal in the final match before he joins the U.S. national team for the FIFA World Cup, along with Gonzalez.
  • Rob Friend made his second consecutive start partnering Keane in attack, with Donovan again filling a midfield role that might need to be filled for up to six league matches, depending upon the USA's success.
  • "Last game, [Donovan] was top quality," midfielder Baggio Husidic said. "That's the Landon we all know, he was excellent, [and] it's going to be almost impossible to replace him. But we have guys with different qualities that can step into that role."
  • Said Arena: "It doesn't change things a whole lot. ... Landon's a great player. What are we going to do" We knew we were going to lose him; other teams are losing players. We'll hold on until Landon returns in the middle of July."