The Houston Dynamo return home for FOX Soccer Friday, when they play host to D.C. United at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo are riding a five-game unbeaten streak, coming off a dramatic 1-1 draw at the Chicago Fire last weekend. D.C. United are coming off a 4-0 home loss to the New York Red Bulls, which canceled out a big win in Toronto the week before.
REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): C.J. Morgante; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Landis Wiley MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 6
INJURY REPORT: HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); DOUBTFUL: FW Brian Ching (L rib separation); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jermaine Taylor (R foot sprain); MF Francisco Navas Cobo (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Danny Cruz (R knee hyperextension) ... D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Junior Carreiro (R ankle sprain); GK Steve Cronin (L wrist fracture); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jed Zayner (L hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 14 goals ... United 3 wins, 9 goals ... Ties 1
AT HOUSTON (5 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 8 goals ... United 0 wins, 3 goals ... Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: 6/25: D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. ET (Galavision)
LAST YEAR (MLS): 5/22: HOU 2, DC 0 (Cruz 9; Oduro 55) 9/25: DC 1, HOU 3 (Najar 29 – own goal 65; Cameron 70; Oduro 90)
- D.C. United have never won at Robertson Stadium, the Dynamo winning five of the six meetings all-time in Houston. The Dynamo have won three consecutive meetings with D.C. United.
- The Dynamo have won on three of their last four visits to RFK Stadium to face United, including a 3-1 win in SuperLiga 2008.
- The Dynamo also won MLS Cup 2007 at RFK Stadium, a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution.
- Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. DC: P15 W7 L5 D3 ... Ben Olsen v HOU: P1 W0 L1 D0
The Houston Dynamo again saved it late, coming back for a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. The Dynamo have 9 points from 6 games on the season, sitting in a three-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The Fire took the lead with an opportunistic goal in the 18th minute. Marco Pappa's dribbling run was finally stopped just outside the box, but Diego Cháves beat Houston defender Corey Ashe to the loose ball, turning and sprinting into the right side of the area before blasting a 10-yard shot into the top left corner.
- But the Dynamo were able to snatch the equalizer seven minutes from the end. Center back Bobby Boswell rose above Fire defender Yamith Cuesta to head home a Brad Davis corner kick to extend Houston’s unbeaten streak and Chicago’s winless streak.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear maintained his team for a third consecutive match, keeping the group that defeated the New England Revolution 1-0 at Robertson Stadium.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman (Je-Vaughn Watson 78), Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe - Danny Cruz (Colin Clark 67), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Cam Weaver, Will Bruin (Jason Garey 88).
- Three of the Dynamo’s goals have now been scored by defenders, with Bobby Boswell scoring his second. It was the second consecutive match a defender providing all the scoring for Houston, after Hunter Freeman netted the lone goal vs. New England.
- “One of my goals this year is to be in better condition, and I did some research on where Brad [Davis] is putting some balls, so I am trying to be more active going forward,” Boswell said. “It’s good to contribute, but the only repercussions are my teammates have to hear about it. It’s all fun when you’re winning.”
- Three of the Dynamo’s seven goals on the season have come directly from corner kicks, while two others started with a corner kick – one that was half-cleared and sent back in with a cross, and a second that eventually was a rebound off the crossbar.
- “We always want the center backs to attack the ball,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “The big center guys – Bobby and Andre [Hainault] – were coming forward and Bobby’s scored a couple goals and seems to pop up in the right place. Brad put the ball in the right place and Bobby is attacking it and it’s a great goal.”
- The Dynamo are now unbeaten on the road in six games (2-0-4), including all three in the 2011 season. The club record for a road unbeaten streak is seven games, set in the team’s inaugural season of 2006.
- “To fight back the way we did, especially coming out in the second half, I think we definitely had the better of the play,” said Davis. “I feel like we could have even won that game if we pushed really hard. We gave them a couple of opportunities and they scored on [one of] them, and that’s disappointing, but to keep pushing and get a goal and get the point is fantastic.”
- Jamaican international Je-Vaughn Watson made his MLS debut against the Fire, entering the match in the 78th minute for right back Hunter Freeman.
- The Dynamo hope to have Spanish midfielder Koke available for Friday’s match, after introducing him at a press conference during the week. He last spent five seasons with Greek Super League side Aris Thessaloniki.
D.C. United crashed back to earth after a dominant win, falling 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Thursday evening at RFK Stadium. United have 7 points from 6 games on the year, sitting in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
- New York took the lead in the game’s 12th minute on a well-worked goal. Dane Richards flicked a long ball into space for on-rushing right back Jan Gunnar Solli, who lofted in a cross that Henry headed past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
- In the 38th minute, Henry doubled New York’s lead. Richards found Solli in an advanced position once again. Solli took the ball inside the box, muscled D.C. defender Marc Burch off the ball, and his deflected cross ended up in front of Henry, who powered it home.
- The visitors made it 3-0 in the 76th minute. Thierry Henry collected a ball out of the back near the midfield stripe and sent a long ball over the top to Joel Lindpere. The Estonian dribbled into D.C.’s box, got rid of Clyde Simms with a nifty move, and beat a sprawling Hamid.
- With the game in stoppage time, the Red Bulls launched a final attack that ended in a Goal of the Week candidate from Juan Agudelo. Solli again blazed forward along the right flank and sent a low cross into the box. The teenage forward flicked the ball up on the roll and in the same move half-volleyed inside the far post to finish off the rout.
- United coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that defeated Toronto FC 3-0 at BMO Field. Perry Kitchen returned to the back four for Ethan White.
- D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb (Santino Quaranta 70), Dejan Jakovic, Perry Kitchen, Marc Burch - Clyde Simms - Fred, Dax McCarty (Branko Boskovic 46), Chris Pontius - Josh Wolff, Charlie Davies (Joseph Ngwenya 60).
- Off the 3-0 victory at Toronto FC, it was a quick turnaround for the 4-0 defeat by the Red Bulls. “I was proud they didn’t quit at 2-0, 3-0, even 4-0. The guys worked their tails off, and the second half I thought we were unlucky [not] to get something out of it,” Ben Olsen said. “It’s a tough night. We need to stay together. This is a process, and, right now, [New York are] a better team than we are.”
- The United attack got a spark from Branko Boskovic, who came off the bench for a third consecutive match, this time for Dax McCarty at the halftime break. Boskovic twice hit the woodwork from long range against New York, once directly from a free kick.
- "I don't remember when I have the same situation in the game in my career like this," Boskovic said. "I know when I have one chance, when the second come, I score. But tonight it's very unlucky for me."
- After starting the first two matches of the season, midfielder Andy Najar has not been in Olsen’s first XI, and was an unused substitute vs. New York.
- “I have no doubt in my mind Andy is going to be a great player for us, and he’s going to be a great player again this year,” said Olsen. “His job is to use the games he has to show me that he’s ready to go when called on.”
- Over the last three matches, Olsen has used a combination of Boskovic, Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius and Fred in the wide midfield spots, with the latter two starting each of the last two matches.
- “There is a lot of competition [for playing time in midfield] and my job is to just keep working hard to earn a spot,” said Najar to The Washington Post. “Obviously, those are the coach’s decisions and all I can do is work hard.”
- The game in Houston is the second in four days for United, the first of two weeks each featuring a pair of games. United have two games at home next week, against Seattle on May 4 then FC Dallas at the weekend.
- “Benny made a point this morning before practice that over these next two weeks we are going to have to use everyone,” Stephen King said. “We have four games in a very short span, so with injuries and people being fatigued from matches, everyone’s going to have their chance and have their opportunity to prove that they should be out there on a more regular basis.”
- This week started with a loss in the U.S. Open Cup, United falling 3-2 to the New England Revolution at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Kheli Dube scored on either side of halftime, then Alan Koger made it 3-0 for the visitors. Branko Boskovic scored in the 73rd and 83rd minutes to make it close, but the Revolution held out.
- Here’s Olsen’s team: Pat Onstad; Brandon Barklage, Rodrigo Brasesco (Dax McCarty 79), Ethan White, Daniel Woolard; Andy Najar, Branko Boskovic, Kurt Morsink, Santino Quaranta; Joseph Ngwenya (Charlie Davies 68), Blake Brettschneider (Chris Pontius 64)
- “Overall, it’s disappointing; we obviously would have liked to win the game,” Olsen said. “The energy and the fight towards the end was great and exciting but the good teams don’t have to do that. The good teams put all that energy and passion in the beginning of the game so they don’t end up fighting to get a result, but we will put it behind us.”