Houston Dynamo vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

HOU v DC, August 2, 2014, DL IMAGE

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HOUSTON DYNAMO vs D.C. UNITED
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
Aug. 3, 2014 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #200)
7 p.m. CT (UDN; CSN-Hou; CSN-MA)

    

A pair of clubs going in opposite directions in recent weeks, the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United meet for a second time this season when the clubs face off Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their winless run stretched to eight games in their last league contest, a 2-2 home draw with Toronto FC. United have won four games on the trot following their 3-0 defeat of Toronto at RFK Stadium at midweek. United defeated the Dynamo 2-0 earlier this season in Washington, but have never won in Houston in club history.

REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Sorin Stoica
MLS Career: 77 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Perry Kitchen
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Will Bruin, Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark | DC: Fabian Espindola, Lewis Neal, Davy Arnaud, Chris Korb
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Dynamo 12 wins, 35 goals | United 5 wins, 18 goals | Ties 2
  • AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 8 wins, 19 goals | United 0 wins, 4 goals |Ties 1
  • FUTURE MATCH: 10/12: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 2 p.m. CT

2014 (MLS)

5/21: DC 2, HOU 0 (Rolfe 29; Espindola 64)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espindola scored on either side of halftime to pace United to a 2-0 victory May 21 at RFK Stadium.
  • The United victory in the first meeting snapped a five-game Dynamo winning streak in the series in league play.
  • The Dynamo have never lost to D.C. United in Houston, winning nine of 10 meetings there all-time in league and cup play (with one draw).
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. DC: P25 W13 L7 D5 | Ben Olsen vs. HOU: P10 W2 L7 D1

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 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 up. 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.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Cristian Fernandez - Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Lewis Neal - Fabian Espindola (Luis Silva 90), Chris Rolfe (Conor Doyle 80).
  • 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).

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo saw their winless run stretched to eight matches in their last league match, reaching a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on July 19 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took advantage of a gaffe to take an 11th-minute lead. Defender Bradley Orr hit an errant pass intended for goalkeeper Joe Bendik, and Dynamo striker Will Bruin pounced on the mistake and beat Bendik to the ball, slotting home the opener into an empty goal.
  • But TFC drew level seven minutes later. Finding himself in space 10 yards from goal, Gilberto had time to take a heavy touch and fire past Dynamo 'keeper Tally Hall for the equalizer.
  • The home side were back in front just eight minutes later. Ricardo Clark played Giles Barnes into space, and he was allowed to take his time and strike a low, 25-yard rolling shot that beat Bendik to his left.
  • Toronto FC had a glorious chance to again equalize in the 28th minute when Corey Ashe hauled down Luke Moore in the area for a penalty and referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot. But Michael Bradley clanged his spot kick off the post.
  • But the leveler did come in first-half stoppage time. Luke Moore worked his way past a defender and put in a cross that eluded goalkeeper Hall for Dominic Oduro to bundle home at the back post.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that suffered a 4-2 loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field the week before. Eric Brunner and Corey Ashe came into the side, in place of Jermaine Taylor and Andrew Driver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Eric Brunner (A.J. Cochran 4), Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark (Andrew Driver 69), Warren Creavalle, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo saw their winless streak extended to eight games in the draw with Toronto FC. It's the longest stretch without a win for the Dynamo since their club-record 10-game streak set in the 2010 season.
  • "It's been over two months since we last won so there's a lot of pressure and it is personal because we're not used to that sort of thing," Boniek Garcia said. iIt is unfortunate that sometimes while some areas of the team respond -- like the attack -- that the defense doesn't respond as much. It's really up to us to be consistent and keep our heads down and make sure we get out of this hole."
  • The Dynamo also conceded multiple goals in a game for the eighth time during the winless run. They have allowed 21 goals over those eight games.
  • "The way I look at it is I think defensively we let the team down," left back Corey Ashe said. iWe're not defending properly and we're giving up soft goals. We keep saying the same thing game in and game out, but it's really frustrating. You can dominate the game all you want, but if they're continuing to score, it doesn't mean anything."
  • Will Bruin scored his first league goal since May 7, netting his seventh in MLS this season.
  • Giles Barnes scored his fifth goal, his second in the last three games. Over those three games Barnes has two goals and two assists.
  • "When you're scoring goals, one goal's enough to win a game and we want that to be the case," said goalkeeper Tally Hall. "That's what the best teams are able to do and we want to reward the players for scoring by giving them a game winner. We need to start rewarding the players in the attack when they step up. [The draw's] a positive, but it's a game we should win."
  • Since their last league game, the Dynamo made two major moves in the transfer market. First, they signed U.S. national team defender DaMarcus Beasley, who will be making his return to MLS after a 10-year separation.
  • "I see myself as a defender. Wherever [Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear] is going to put me is where I fit best into the team I'll play it," Beasley said. "Do I still have the midfield mentality sometimes? Of course. Do I still want to score goals? Of course. I never have that out of mind when I play. But I do have a job to do, being a defender, and that's to defend and that's my first job."
  • Said Kinnear: "He can fit in the midfield, he can fit in the back. What drew us to wanting him is that he's a good player and makes our team better. It's pretty simple. Longevity and consistency are two of his main traits. When you look at him, you have the feeling he can play a couple of more years."
  • Then, the Dynamo acquired midfielder Luis Garrido on loan from CD Olimpia of Honduras. Garrido has made 20 international appearances for Honduras, and is compared to Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso.
  • "Same positions, same type of attitude I'd say," head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Alonso's obviously been in the league a little longer and has more experience, but if those are the comparisons, if he gets compared to him, that's a good comparison, and I think it's a compliment."  Said Garrido: "It's my trademark, it's what I do. Again, it's one of those things that I will adjust my style depending on what Dom wants from me. If he wants me to play like that I can continue playing like that. I just want to come in here and make a positive effect."
  • In their week away from league play, the Dynamo fell 1-0 to Aston Villa FC of the English Premier League in the annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup.
  • Here's the Dynamo team: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst (Anthony Arena 79), Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe (AJ Cochran 72); Boniek Garcia (Brian Ownby 72), Servando Carrasco, Ricardo Clark (Alexander LÛpez 72), Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 64); Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 64), Will Bruin (Jason Johnson 72)
  • "Starting that game as far as the defensive shape we've been talking about letting us down lately here in our regular season, I thought was overall pretty darn good," said Dynamo captain Brad Davis.

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United extended their winning streak to four matches with another impressive victory, rolling to a 3-0 win against Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at RFK Memorial Stadium. United are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 20 games.

LAST MATCH

  • United took the lead just eight minutes into the match. Midfielder Perry Kitchen collected a pass on the right flank, taking a touch towards the end line before crossing the ball to Johnson, who found himself perfectly positioned to comfortably nod the ball home from six yards out.
  • The United lead was doubled in the 60th minute. United midfielder Nick DeLeon cut into the area and looked to have earned a penalty kick after being fouled by Warren Creavalle. Referee Chris Penso, however, played the advantage and Chris Rolfe ran onto the ball, striking a blistering shot from the heart of the penalty area and easily beating TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik.
  • Seven minutes later, D.C. put the game out of reach with a bit of help. DeLeon rounded TFC defender Nick Hagglund and struck a shot towards goal. The attempt caromed off Bendik, but Hagglund's attempt at a headed clearance found its way into his own net.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made no changes to his team for a fourth consecutive match, keeping the group that defeated Chivas USA 3-1 at RFK Stadium
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb - Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud (Jared Jeffrey 82), Chris Rolfe (Conor Doyle 74) - Luis Silva (Lewis Neal 69), Eddie Johnson.

TEAM NEWS

  • D.C. United won their fourth game in a row with the victory against Toronto FC. United last won four games in a row from May 16-June 16, 2012.
  • United have scored 10 goals over their winning streak; their plus-12 goal differential is tied with Sporting Kansas City for second-largest in MLS (the LA Galaxy are at plus-13).
  • "The quick turnaround, going to Houston, will be tough, but we're going to be tested at some point with our depth. We're going to rely on guys in the next month or two that haven't seen a lot of minutes so that's a good thing. I'm looking forward to getting those guys in, to test them in real games and that might start with Houston," said Olsen.
  • Eddie Johnson scored a goal for a third consecutive game, and now has four goals. It was his first goal from open play since May 17.
  • "I think as he's scored some goals, you can see his energy level out there rise. That's how goal scorers are. They start to score, and they want more, and they put more effort in," said Olsen. "But take the goals away from him, the way he occupies center backs, the way he holds the ball for us and allows us to change the point of attack is crucial. It's something we haven't had here for a while."
  • It's the third time in his MLS career Johnson has scored goals in at least three straight games, both the last coming back in the 2007 season, when he was with the Kansas City Wizards. He scored in three in a row from Aug. 29-Sept. 15, 2007, but had nine goals in scoring in four straight games May 26-July 22.
  • Chris Rolfe scored his first goal since May 21 when he scored vs. Houston, netting his fourth goal of the season.
  • "He's just a guy that can change the game for us. We've asked him to do more work than he's accustomed to in that position, so the amount of miles he's putting on while still giving us a threat in the box, he's just what we needed," said Olsen. "He's changed us; he's changed the way we can play. He's just a classy player, and we're lucky to have him."
  • Said Rolfe: "There have been teams that I've been on that throughout the whole season you don't ever jell. Our guys -- we continue to put new guys in and take guys out -- and everyone continues to do a great job. Our combination play has been fantastic."
  • Luis Silva recorded his second assist of the season. He has all five of his goals and both of his assists over the last six contests.
  • "The partnerships are continuing to form out there. At times, our passing [vs. Toronto FC], if I'd say anything negative, our passing still let us down, and it's at times when we can really kill off teams," said Olsen.