ROBERTSON STADIUM, Houston, Texas
8:30 p.m. ET (KHOU/Azteca; KMYU-2.2, watch LIVE online)
August 20, 2011 (WEEK 23; MLS Game 227)
The Houston Dynamo will look to maintain their home hegemony against Real Salt Lake when the clubs face off on Saturday evening at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo have never lost to Real Salt Lake at home, and are coming off a last-gasp 1-1 draw at New England at midweek. Real are playing a second consecutive match on the road, starting the swing with a 1-0 loss at Toronto FC last weekend.
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REFEREE: Abbey Okulaja. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: John McCloskey
MLS Career: 111 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 19; pens: 25
INJURY REPORT: HOUSTON DYNAMO — OUT: FW Will Bruin (L knee surgery); MF Danny Cruz (R quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Colin Clark (L knee injury) ... REAL SALT LAKE — OUT: MF Nelson Gonzalez (R foot fracture), MF Ned Grabavoy (L adductor strain); MF Javier Morales (L ankle fracture dislocation), DF Chris Wingert (L wrist fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jamison Olave (L knee MCL strain); PROBABLE: MF Jean Alexandre (R knee internal pain), DF Tony Beltran (neck strain) GK Nick Rimando (R wrist pain), FW Alvaro Saborio (R knee effusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: HOU: Adam Moffat (through Aug. 21) ... RSL: Will Johnson (caution accumulation; through Aug. 21)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Bobby Boswell, Danny Cruz, Brad Davis, Hunter Freeman, Adam Moffat, Cam Weaver ... RSL: Jean Alexandre, Kyle Beckerman, Fabian Espindola, Robbie Russell, Chris Wingert
- ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Dynamo 7 wins, 22 goals ... Real 3 wins, 20 goals ... Ties 5
- AT HOUSTON (7 meetings): Dynamo 6 win, 18 goals ... Real 0 wins, 12 goals ... Ties 1
- The teams played to a scoreless draw on May 14 at Rio Tinto Stadium in their first meeting this season.
- The Dynamo have never lost to RSL at home. They've won six of seven meetings there, with one draw — that lone result for RSL coming June 20, 2009.
- While Real have yet to ever win at Robertson Stadium, the Dynamo have left Utah with the full three points just once — a 1-0 win in 2007 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
- Coaches record: Jason Kreis v HOU: P11 W2 L5 D4 ... Dominic Kinnear vs. RSL: P19 W9 L3 D7
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 5/14: RSL 0, HOU 0
- Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall made just one save. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was called upon to make three saves, including a pair on Dynamo rookie Will Bruin, both coming in short order just after the hour mark.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson (Nelson Gonzalez 85) - Collen Warner (Andy Williams 60) - Arturo Alvarez (Jean Alexandre 74), Alvaro Saborio.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Colin Clark (Je-Vaughn Watson 67), Lovel Palmer, Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Will Bruin (Koke 69), Cam Weaver (Jason Garey 87).
The Houston Dynamo stretched their unbeaten run to four games in dramatic fashion, coming back for a late 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Dynamo have 32 points from 25 games on the season, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
- New England poked in front after just four minutes. A partially cleared corner came back into the box, where Milton Caraglio saw his close-range effort deflected by a sliding defender. But it fell right to Ryan Cochrane at the back post, who turned in the goal against his former side.
- But the Dynamo pulled even with some late dramatics. Brad Davis curled in a corner kick and Carlo Costly rose highest to force Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis into a save. But Bobby Boswell was able to poke home the rebound on the goal line for the leveler.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Robertson Stadium. Jermaine Taylor came in at left back for Corey Ashe, Je-Vaughn Watson started for Colin Clark in midfield and Cam Weaver replaced Carlo Costly up top.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman (Calen Carr 80), Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Adam Moffat (sent off 94+) - Je-Vaughn Watson (Alex Dixon 62), Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis - Brian Ching (Carlo Costly 71), Cam Weaver.
- The goal was the sixth time this season the Dynamo have scored in the 83rd minute or later to rescue a result — they've scoring tying goals on five occasions, and the winning goal once (in the opening meeting with New England).
- "I think we're playing good. I think the last three, four games we've played, two on the road, I think we've been very good. We've created a lot of chances, we've scored some goals and I just like the way that we're completing the game," said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. "It took us I think the 86th minute in Philadelphia to get a late goal, it took us in the 90th tonight, so I just think the guys' attitude and character have been excellent."
- The Dynamo have one win and seven draws in 14 games when they've conceded first — the most times this season a team has come back to get at least a point. The 10 points gained after allowing the first goal are third-most in MLS, behind Seattle (15) and Columbus (13).
- "It's easy to put your head down and just not give up, but (think) maybe this isn't our night, but credit to our guys over the last four games," said Brad Davis. "I think everybody's put it out there and really stayed together and concentrated for the full 90 minutes and luckily [Wednesday] it paid off."
- While the Dynamo have eight draws in 12 away matches, they are still one of three teams in MLS this season without a victory on the road (also: Toronto and Vancouver).
- Forward Calen Carr made his Dynamo debut, coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute. He suffered a concussion during preseason with the Chicago Fire, keeping him out of action.
- The goal was the sixth directly from a corner kick this season for the Dynamo, one behind Seattle for most in MLS. Nine of 31 Houston goals (plus two penalties) have come directly from set-piece situations.
- "Our size and our ability to crash in the box, our services are great," said Geoff Cameron. "You get tall guys like Cam Weaver, Brian Ching, myself, Bobby Boswell — we're crashing the net and we're a force to reckon with and I think we've done well."
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake lost for a third time in four starts, going down to a 1-0 defeat to Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field. RSL sits in fifth place in the Western Conference, with 36 points from 22 matches.
- The game's lone goal came in the 77th minute. Joao Plata chased down a Matt Stinson cross on the left side, and turned back into the box. He tried to find Peri Marosevic cutting toward goal, but the ball slipped past both he and RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, settling inside the far post.
- Real hit the woodwork twice in the first half and TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic made four saves in keeping the clean sheet.
- RSL coach Jason Kreis made no changes to the side that rolled to a 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Robbie Russell (Paulo Araujo Jr. 81), Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert (Tony Beltran 32), Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams (Arturo Alvarez 76) - Luis Gil - Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
- The 1-0 loss to Toronto was Real's third shutout in their last four games. They still have yet to score at BMO Field in a league game.
- "I think that we did enough tonight, certainly to pick up a draw, and on a different night we walk away from here with all three points. If we score some of those chances that we had tonight things look completely different," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "The goal that was scored was a very fluky one as well, so all-in-all we just couldn't get the bounces tonight that I feel we needed to get."
- For the first time in more than a year, Kreis ran out the same starting XI in back-to-back games, doing so against New York and Toronto. It had been 48 games in all competitions, since last July 31-Aug. 7, that RSL had the same starters in consecutive matches.
- The trip to Toronto started a run of three consecutive road games for Real — and eight of the next 11 games away from Rio Tinto Stadium.
- "I think we were the much better team tonight," said midfielder Will Johnson, suspended for the Houston match after picking up a yellow card in Toronto. "As far as chances go, I think it was extremely one-sided [in RSL's favor], but if you don't put your chances away you always leave yourself open for some kind of lucky goal, and that's what happened."
- While Kreis again had Paulo Junior to call upon, seeing action for the first time since April 13 in a substitute role, there was another major injury when Chris Wingert suffered a wrist fracture at the half-hour mark and will be out of action for up to 6 weeks.
- The day before the TFC match, Real had agreed terms with Blake Wagner, who was last with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Wagner, who also made 31 appearances before moving to Vancouver last year when the club was in the USSF D-II, made eight of his nine appearances before Tom Soehn took over as interim head coach.
- "I think he's a good fit for our system in that he's a kid that's probably played midfield his whole life through college soccer, and then has just dropped off to the outside back in the pros," said Kreis. "That's exactly like Robbie Russell, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran ó and so we think he fits into our system well. It's going to take some time for him to completely understand what we're asking of him, but we do feel like it was a fortuitous move, particularly because of Wingert's situation now."
- Kyle Beckerman played the full 90 minutes in the center of midfield after playing the entire match at midweek in the USA's 1-1 draw with Mexico. "I just wanted to push through. I've got another week before the next game so I didn't really think about it," Beckerman said.