Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake | MLS Match Preview

May 11, 2014 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #92)
6 p.m. CT (CSN-Hou+; KUCW-30, MLS Free Stream of the Week)

The Houston Dynamo will be looking to maintain their home dominance of Real Salt Lake when the clubs meet in an interconference clash Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo, who have never lost at home to Real, are coming off their second consecutive win, a 1-0 triumph against Columbus at midweek. RSL continue their road swing off a dramatic, late 3-2 victory at the Chicago Fire last weekend.

REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 36 games; FC/gm: 22.1; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 8; pens: 8


ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Dynamo 9 wins, 26 goals … Real 4 wins, 23 goals … Ties 5
AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 8 wins, 22 goals … Real 0 wins, 14 goals … Ties 1

8/10: RSL 1, HOU 0 (Saborio 37)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Real defeated Houston1-0 last Aug. 10 at Rio Tinto Stadium, their first victory against the Dynamo since the 2010 campaign. RSL has taken points from their last five home games vs. Houston, with three draws in that time.
  • RSL is winless lifetime in nine trips to Houston; their lone result came in a 1-1 draw June 20, 2009. Last year, Real won for the first time ever in the state of Texas after 22 games, in a 3-0 victory July 13 against FC Dallas.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. RSL: P22 W11 L4 T7 … Jeff Cassar vs. HOU: first game

The Houston Dynamo won their second game on the trot, getting the game’s only goal for a victory against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 10 games.


  • The game's lone goal came five minutes after the second-half restart. Brad Davis put a free kick into the middle of a group in the Columbus' penalty area and it was the back of Will Bruin’s head that made the contact to fool Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark and loop the ball into the back of the net.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with five saves in recording the clean sheet, the second blanking in a row for the Crew.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that rolled to a 4-1 win against Chivas USA at StubHub Center. A.J. Cochran came into central defense in place of Jermaine Taylor.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, A.J. Cochran, Corey Ashe - Servando Carrasco - Boniek Garcia (Omar Cummings 85), Brad Davis (Warren Creavalle 61), Andrew Driver - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 74).


  • The Dynamo have now won back-to-back games, their first two victories since winning the opening two games of the season vs. New England and Montreal.
  • “It’s always good to get three points at home while we’re coming off a good victory as well. There is a lot of confidence around the squad at the moment and we have got to keep the train rolling and I think obviously when we got the goal up we protected the lead very well,” forward Giles Barnes said. “Everyone is pulling for each other and we’re pulling the same direction.”
  • Will Bruin scored his sixth goal of the season, tied for third in the MLS Golden Boot standings behind Clint Dempsey of Seattle (8) and Chivas USA’s Erick Torres (7). Bruin has scored a goal in three consecutive games matching the longest goal-scoring streak of his career (achieved twice during the 2012 season).
  • “I think Will has been big for us this year with that, he’s off to a good start and obviously with a game winning goal. It’s three points in the books because he can finish like that,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “I think if you’re criticizing Will then I think you’re looking at the wrong things. What he does off the ball, the way he works, the way he battles, the way he fights are all things he does for this team and a box score or a stat sheet is never going to show that, and that’s why he’s been a key player for us because he’s had that mentality since day one. There’s a reason he’s always on the field, because the team needs what he can give them.”
  • Making a third consecutive start after missing three games through injury, Brad Davis recorded his second assist in those games. Davis has four assists on the season, tied for second overall in MLS, behind Seattle’s Obafemi Martins (6).“Obviously when you have someone like Brad who can whip the ball in, I can just go straight into the box. I think we have a good understanding of each other of what runs I like to make and he can put it right on my head and/or my foot,” Bruin said.
  • It was the third goal scored this season by the Dynamo from a free kick, from their 13 goals scored for the season.
  • “We had a few set pieces and I kind of felt like I was a bit of a spare part and I thought I could lend a bit of a hand,” Andrew Driver said. “My considerable weight got in the way of the guy and managed to get a free header… Obviously it got us a victory.”
  • Tally Hall recorded his fourth shutout of the season, tying him for the MLS lead with Clint Irwin (Colorado) and Eric Kronberg (Kansas City).
  • “He’s a good shot-stopper, we all know that, we’ve seen it over the years. I think [goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley] does a good job with telling him to not beat himself and to remain big. He doesn’t overplay, he tries and lets the guy attacking goal beat him,” said Kinnear. “Like I said he doesn’t make those mistakes and he makes himself look big and obviously he has some quick hands.”

Real Salt Lake maintained their undefeated opening to the season in dramatic fashion, scoring two late goals for a 3-2 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Toyota Park. RSL are in second place in the Western Conference with 17 points from nine matches.


  • The Fire raced into a two-goal lead before the game was a half-hour old. They first took the lead in the 22nd minute when Mike Magee was in the right place at the right time as he reacted to side-foot home after Harry Shipp’s well-struck shot was parried by RSL 'keeper Nick Rimando.
  • The Fire doubled their advantage in the 30th minute when Greg Cochrane found space high on the left to receive Benji Joya’s pass and his pinpoint center picked out an unmarked Juan Luis Anangono to powerfully head home from six yards.
  • Joao Plata pulled a goal back for Salt Lake in the 72nd minute when he latched onto an incisive through-ball from Javier Morales to slot the ball low to goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s right from 16 yards.
  • Real struck for the equalizer on the stroke of 90 minutes when Olmes Garcia’s cross from the left was not cleared and Alvaro Saborio touched home from almost on the goal line.
  • Saborio then turned provider three minutes into stoppage time when his left-wing cross found Plata at the back post, and the striker swept the ball home right-footed to give RSL all three points.
  • RSL head coach Jeff Cassar made no changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers (Olmes Garcia 88), Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally 69) - Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez 69), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Joao Plata, Alvaro Saborio.


  • Real extended their undefeated streak to nine matches to open the season (4-0-5), three games shy of the best opening to a season in MLS history (12-0-0, 1996 Los Angeles Galaxy).
  • “This team has unbelievable character. It’s a credit to them. They knew that they had it in them, and you could just see with that first goal, all we needed was that goal to get it going and build the confidence,” said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. “After they got the second one, they were like, ‘we might win this game.’ It’s unbelievable how they want to continue to push and go for wins on the road. It’s fantastic.”
  • Joao Plata scored the first two-goal game of his MLS career and now has five goals for the season, a new career-high already in his fourth MLS season, after just six matches.
  • “His energy on both sides of the ball is what’s really fantastic. He’s always energetic on the offensive end but I was really pleased with how he was holding up the ball and tracking and defending,” said Cassar. “He ended up playing the left side of our midfield at the end of the game. He’s doing everything right now.”
  • Alvaro Saborio scored a goal and added an assist, the fifth time in his MLS career he scored a goal and provided an assist in the same game.
  • Abdoulie Mansally made his second appearance of the season, coming off the substitutes’ bench for the final 21 minutes, and contributed his first assist of the season.
  • “We were bummed we were down 2-nothing. No one wants to be down 2-0, but we felt at halftime that we weren’t playing bad. We gave up two shots and two goals,” said Kyle Beckerman. “So we felt like if we can keep playing the way we were and create chances and get a little tougher in the back, we felt like we could get one. And once we got one, we knew that a comeback was possible.”
  • Said Cassar: “I thought they were doing a lot of the right things. Their movement to get in behind their back line was fantastic and we were getting Javier [Morales] in some really nice positions with the ball. And then that happens, we’re going to get some good service.”

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.