Tony Caig
Houston Dynamo

Caig hopes to stifle Kansas City again

one a relief appearance against Dallas, the other a road game at Costa Rican power Deportivo Saprissa -- but he has settled into his new league and is a steady option in net. Caig has a 1.23 goals against average in league play and has recorded three shutouts in six league games despite seeing limited action.

"If you get to play games close together, it's not too bad, but if you are going three or four weeks between games, it is tough," Caig said of his playing time. "But it's all about focusing on the proper training, doing game-realistic drills, and putting pressure on yourself to reach good standards so that when a game comes around, you will be ready."

Caig has earned shutouts in wins over New York (May 31) and Real Salt Lake (August 16) and also shut out Kansas City in a 0-0 tie back in April. Sunday's temperatures will be slightly different than the 44-degree weather that night, and Caig hopes for a slightly different result: one that goes in the Dynamo's favor.

"It will be a different game, obviously, because their field is really tight, which doesn't suit us in a way because of how we like to play," Caig said. "It was a really congested game because of the field, so here it will be a bit different; a bit more open. We will be going to attack as we always do, both home and away."

A veteran of both English and Scottish soccer, Caig said, not surprisingly, that the weather conditions are one of the biggest differences he has noted in his first season in the United States.

"The conditions in terms of weather play a major factor," Caig said. "[In England,] everyone has the same weather -- it's cold -- so there is no real advantage to anybody. ... [With Sunday] being a two o'clock kickoff in the heat of the day, which as people imagine will be pretty hot, hopefully that will give us a slight advantage."

Back on April 12, Caig made four saves to record the shutout in the Dynamo's 0-0 tie with the Wizards. In addition to official saves, however, he came out repeatedly to deny Wizards through balls. In the almost five months since, Caig has grown even more accustomed to his teammates and vice versa, a fact not lost on head coach Dominic Kinnear.

"Tony's played well for us, and we feel confident with him in there," Kinnear said. "If you look at his stats -- his goals against average and shutouts -- he's been a big contributor to our defense and the way we've played back there this year. The guys feel confident with Tony back there."

In addition to Onstad, the Dynamo will also be missing Dwayne De Rosario, Brian Ching, and Ricardo Clark to World Cup qualifying action, and defender Eddie Robinson is questionable with a hamstring injury. Kansas City, meanwhile, loses no players to international duty and recently traded for forward Herculez Gomez from Colorado. Caig and the Houston defense can still expect trouble from U.S. national team forward Josh Wolff, who re-joined Kansas City over the summer, and Argentine designated player Claudio Lopez, among others.


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