Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC | MLS Match Preview

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs TORONTO FC
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
July 19, 2014 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #177)
8 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; SNet 360)

The Houston Dynamo and Toronto FC meet for the second time in as many weekends, when the clubs clash Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Toronto FC roared back from an early two-goal deficit when the club met last weekend at BMO Field, scoring four unanswered goals for the victory, extending the Dynamo’s winless streak to seven games. In the meantime, TFC reached a 1-1 draw at midweek with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Toronto.

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REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Kevin Klinger; AR2 (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 44 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 15; pens: 11

SUSPENDED: HOU: Jermaine Taylor (caution accumulation; through July 20)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Jermain Defoe
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Will Bruin, Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark, Warren Creavalle … TOR: Jackson, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 22 goals … Toronto FC 4 wins, 18 goals … Ties 8
AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 13 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 10/8: Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET

2014 (MLS)
7/12: TOR 4, HOU 2 (Osorio 39; Oduro 46+; Defoe 63, 89 – Davis 13, 30)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season and the second time in as many weeks, after TFC came back from a two-goal deficit for a 4-2 victory Saturday at BMO Field.
  • TFC has come away from Houston with points on each of their last three visits, though they have not won there since 2010.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. HOU: P3 W1 L0 D2 … Dominic Kinnear vs. TOR: P16 W4 L4 D8

LAST MEETING

  • The Dynamo opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Giles Barnes found an unmarked Brad Davis on the left side of the box and he slotted home past TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik at the near post. Then Houston caught the Reds on the break at the half-hour, when Davis from essentially the same spot as the first after a cross from Giles Barnes found him alone at the back post.
  • But Toronto FC began their fight back in the 39th minute when Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall bobbled a Jermain Defoe cross and dropped the ball onto the head of Jonathan Osorio on the doorstep. The equalizer then came during first-half stoppage time when Defoe laid off a perfect pass to a hard charging Dominic Oduro – his initial shot was stopped by Hall, but he slotted home his own rebound to make it 2-2.
  • Toronto took the lead in the 63rd minute when Defoe danced around the Houston backline and clinically finished past Hall. Defoe then sealed the result just before the finish when an errant pass from the Dynamo backline sent him in alone on Hall.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Mark Bloom, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell (Bradley Orr 69), Justin Morrow - Dominic Oduro (Daniel Lovitz 58), Jonathan Osorio, Collen Warner, Jackson - Jermain Defoe, Luke Moore (Gilberto 80).
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 79) - Andrew Driver (Brian Ownby 67), Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark (Servando Carrasco 86), Brad Davis - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo had their winless streak extended to seven games with the 4-2 loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field. The Dynamo are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 19 games.

TEAM NEWS

  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jermaine Taylor and David Horst came back into central defense in place of A.J. Cochran and Eric Brunner.
  • “On the road two goals is good for you, and should be good for the win or something else,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “When you make mistakes like that you are not going to come away with that much.”
  • The Dynamo saw their winless streak extended to seven games in the loss at Toronto; the club record is 10 games without a victory, set in 2010.
  • “It’s about confidence for us. We lost it in the second half and we had it in the beginning of the game. It’s about giving that boost in the step and it has to be a force within us because we aren’t being given that boost with the results and so we have to believe in ourselves,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We have to be confident and know that we can play well, if you look at the first 35 minutes we showed we can and there is no reason why we can't go on a winning streak.”
  • Brad Davis scored a pair of goals in the match. Davis has three goals in two games since his return from the US national team and the FIFA World Cup, scoring the last three Dynamo goals. He has a goal or an assist in each of his last eight MLS games played; the MLS record is 11 consecutive games with a goal and/or assist.
  • “[If] going up two and losing four to two on the road is not motivation enough to want to come back, fight and turn things around in our home place [I] doesn’t know what is. … It is to the point now where we have talked enough and we have to find it within ourselves to go out and get results, whatever it may be, however we have to do it, we have to get results,” said Davis.
  • Giles Barnes recorded two assists in a game for the first time in his MLS career, setting up both Davis goals.
  • “If you want to pull a positive out of it, yes we scored a couple goals and Brad (Davis) is on a bit of a roll. Giles (Barnes) and Will (Bruin) were really menacing and creating some stuff,” said Kinnear. “The back end of it, the other side of the ball is something we really have to pay attention to.”
  • The Dynamo conceded four goals or more for a fourth time this season, most of any team in MLS. The Dynamo goals against average of 2.00 is the highest in MLS.
  • “We are just letting too many goals in,” Davis said. “We are just getting scored on a little too easy. We need to be more organized in our shape and attack and defense … All in all we are just leaking too many goals right now.”

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC concluded their three-game homestand with another result, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday evening at BMO Field. TFC sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, with 25 points from 16 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC took the lead five minutes into in the second half. Russell Teibert collected a slick pass from Pedro Morales on the left flank, turned a defender and placed a low cross into the box and through a bundle of legs, where Darren Mattocks tapped home for the simple finish.
  • But TFC were even 14 minutes later. Jackson cut in and ran into the box, only to be clattered into by Nigel Reo-Coker, and referee Allen Chapman awarded the penalty. Jermain Defoe coolly slotted home the eventual equalizer.
  • TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made two changes to the team that came back for a 4-2 win against the Houston Dynamo at BMO Field. Bradley Orr came into the back four for Steven Caldwell, and Michael Bradley returned to the midfield in place of Dominic Oduro.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Mark Bloom (Nick Hagglund 55), Bradley Orr, Doneil Henry, Justin Morrow - Jonathan Osorio (Dominic Oduro 59), Collen Warner, Michael Bradley, Jackson (Gilberto 77) - Luke Moore, Jermain Defoe.

TEAM NEWS

  • The match concluded a three-game homestand for TFC where they took four of a possible nine points. The trip to Houston starts a run of five away matches out of the next six in league play.
  • “They only had a couple of shots on target the whole game, but one of them went in and that was a soft one. We knew we had numbers around there. We didn’t defend our box as well as we should. Then we make up the goal,” said TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen. “I think were the only team who was probably going to win it and we had three or four pretty decent chances it win the game and we didn’t take it unfortunately.”
  • Added Michael Bradley: “In this league, a point is always valuable. On the days where you’re not able to get the win and pick up all three, to be able to stay solid at the back and not concede and just know the days when you take your point and move on is important.”
  • Jermain Defoe scored his 11th goal of the season, his third in the last two games. Defoe has scored seven goals in the last seven league games, three of those from penalty kicks.
  • After missing out on the Houston match, Bradley returned to the center of midfield, playing 90 minutes in a league match for the first time since May 3.
  • “I felt good, very good,” Bradley said. “Obviously I played 60 minutes against D.C. but anytime you miss a little bit, or even if you’re just out a few days in training, you miss it, so to be back out on the field feels great. Any time you go through a stretch where there’s games, there’s travel, there’s more games, there’s more travel, your body just needs a little chance to kind of catch up.”
  • It was also the first time Bradley and Collen Warner had featured together in the center of midfield for the entire match with Toronto FC.
  • “I think there’s still that kind of feeling each other out in a way. With how the team is going we kind of had this rhythm and now Michael’s in and it’s the first time he’s played with Collen properly. Now he’s back and we’re just getting used to each other,” Nelsen said. “The great thing is, the more he plays and trains with the team, since he was away for so long, the better the chemistry will be.”
  • There were some injury woes out of the match. Jackson was forced off late in the match with a hamstring injury, while Steven Caldwell could miss up to a month after a scan indicated a big tear in his quadriceps.