San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
May 25, 2014 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #113)
10:30 pm ET | 7:30 pm PT (CSN-CA; CSN-Hou)

A pair of clubs who share common origins renew their rivalry when the San Jose Earthquakes play host to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. Both teams come into the game coming off away defeats – the Earthquakes falling 1-0 at Seattle Sounders FC last weekend, while the Dynamo started their road trip with a 2-0 loss at D.C. United on Wednesday evening.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. AR1 (bench): Peter Balciunas; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 26 games; FC/gm: 23.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 4; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Jermaine Taylor
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
DISABLED LIST: SJ: Tommy Muller
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SJ: Chris Wondolowski (USA); Victor Bernardez (HON) … HOU: Brad Davis (USA); Boniek Garcia (Honduras)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (11 meetings): Earthquakes 4 wins, 13 goals … Dynamo 6 wins, 16 goals … Ties 1
AT SAN JOSE (6 meetings): Earthquakes 3 wins, 8 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/30: HOU 2, SJ 0 (Bruin 17; Barnes 42)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Dynamo have won the last three meetings between the teams, including a 2-0 victory last March 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium in their only encounter.
  • The two teams have shared a pitched rivalry since the Earthquakes returned to the league in 2008, after the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006. They had split their season series in each of the first four years after the Quakes’ return before the current Dynamo winning streak.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. SJ: P11 W6 L4 D1… Mark Watson vs. HOU: first game

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes couldn’t make it back-to-back wins, dropping a 1-0 decision to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. The Quakes are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 10 points from 10 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came after just eight minutes. Obafemi Martins ran down a pass from Gonzalo Pineda deep on the left side of the penalty area, then clipped it to the far post from the bounce past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch, who could only watch as the shot nestled into the side netting.
  • Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was called upon to make just a single save, not until the 90th minute when he wasn't much troubled by a Khari Stephenson free kick from about 30 yards out.
  • Quakes boss Mark Watson made five changes to the team that claimed a 2-1 win against FC Dallas at Buck Shaw Stadium. Ty Harden and Shaun Francis came into the back four, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi started in midfield and Atiba Harris and Billy Schuler came in up top, with Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez and Chris Wondolowski on international duty, Shea Salinas suspended and Alan Gordon injured.
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-3-2): Jon Busch - Brandon Barklage, Ty Harden, Jordan Stewart, Shaun Francis - Sam Cronin - Cordell Cato (Sam Garza 80), Khari Stephenson, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (JJ Koval 88) - Atiba Harris, Billy Schuler (Mike Fucito 75).

TEAM NEWS

  • Between injuries and international callups, the Quakes had only 16 available players for the Seattle match – two fewer than the usual complement.
  • “Everyone is aware of our squad right now – a bunch of guys missing with national team callups, suspensions and injuries. We pride ourselves in any team we put out and I was really proud of the guys from that side of it,” said Quakes head coach Mark Watson. “We stuck together and our guys fought right to the end. I think we'll take a lot out of that performance to take into the next game Sunday and down the road.”
  • Billy Schuler made his first ever MLS start, playing the underneath striker role in the absence of Chris Wondolowski.
  • Atiba Harris partnered Schuler in attack, his first start as an out-and-out striker after five league starts in a wide midfield role.
  • “I think everyone did well tonight. I think Billy Schuler came in not having played a lot and I thought he did well. I just think overall everyone played pretty well,” said Watson. “We moved the ball really well at times, but we weren't dynamic enough and didn't have that little bit of quality in the final third to be dangerous in front of goal and to give us a chance to get back in the game.”
  • Jordan Stewart moved inside to center back to partner Ty Harden, with Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez away with the USA and Honduras respectively in preparation for the FIFA World Cup.
  • Shaun Francis made his first appearance since March 22,, when he started the opening two matches of the season, coming in at left back.
  • “I felt comfortable out there,” Francis said. “I thought the back line did a really good job. We stuck to our guns and did what we had to do. It was a really good goal. There was nothing we could do about that.”
  • “We've got seasoned pros on this team and I thought they did a tremendous job. It doesn't matter who we plug in there,” said goalkeeper Jon Busch. “We expect them to play well and I thought the whole back line – Shaun, Jordan, Ty, and Brandon – I thought they played great.”
  • Mike Fucito came off the substitutes’ bench for a second consecutive match, his first appearances of the season, while Sam Garza also came on as a substitute in his first action of 2014.
  • “It's a big issue for us now. A couple more injuries and we're in serious trouble. We obviously have games to win, but we have to be really careful that we take care of our guys as best we can and keep them healthy through this stretch,” said Watson.

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo began their two-game road swing with a defeat, dropping a 2-0 decision to D.C. United on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 13 games.

LAST MATCH

  • United opened the scoring in the 29th minute. Fabian Espindola shield a defender away on the right flank and headed upfield, before playing a cross-field ball to Chris Rolfe at the top of the box. Rolfe skipped past Houston defender David Horst after a series of cutbacks before slotting home past an outstretched Tally Hall.
  • The lead was doubled in the 64th minute as United's strike pair again teamed. Espindola ran onto a well-played ball from Rolfe out of the United half, before using a stepover to elude a defender in the left side of the box. His left-footed strike skimmed just to the left of Hall and into the back of the net.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Omar Cummings came into the team to replace international campaigner Boniek Garcia.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst (Alexander Lopez 83), Corey Ashe - Omar Cummings, Warren Creavalle (Servando Carrasco 69), Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes - Will Bruin, Mark Sherrod (Brian Ownby 12; ejected 89).

TEAM NEWS

  • With four losses from six road matches, the Dynamo have the most away defeats in MLS (along with FC Dallas).
  • “I thought the response was good after halftime and we came out and kept the ball and move the ball better and created some chances,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We told the guys we’ll put a team together and go to San Jose and do something positive and let’s look forward instead of looking behind us.”
  • The Dynamo will continue their two-game road swing shorthanded, after striker Mark Sherrod had to come off the field injured after just 12 minutes. Sherrod was making his third consecutive start, scoring two goals and adding an assist in those initial MLS starts.
  • “I think mentally, Mark’s going down and getting stretchered off got to us a little bit and it took us a while to get going,” Kinnear said.
  • Said defender Corey Ashe: “Two mistakes, you know, they punished us for them. They came out, they were organized and they kind of set the tone and obviously doesn’t help with the injury to Mark. But credit to D.C., they came out, they stuck to their plan and they put their opportunities away.”
  • In addition, Brian Ownby, who making his seventh appearance (all as a substitute) and was a candidate to move into the first XI, was sent off just before full time and will be suspended.
  • With Boniek Garcia away on international duty with Honduras, Omar Cummings filled the wide midfield on the right flank.
  • “I played it many times for the [Jamaican] national team, and it’s a position I like but haven’t played for a while,” Cummings said. “So it’s just getting that role in mind and what you have to do.”