HOUSTON – Matt Reis seems to always bring his “A” game when he faces the Houston Dynamo.
The all-star New England Revolution goalkeeper has conjured some of his best performances against the Dynamo in recent years, single-handedly keeping the Revs in matches against Houston. With the clubs slated to square off Saturday night at Gillette Stadium (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), the Dynamo will have to figure out a way to put Reis and the Revs defense on the ropes if they want to pull out a big road result.
“He’s a great goalkeeper, but we’ll try to get some balls in the box and keep creating chances,” forward Calen Carr said. “We’ll try and exploit the areas to the outside and hopefully put some pressure on Reis.”
Reis and the Dynamo have a deep history. Houston are 4-5-4 all-time when Reis mans the Revolution’s net, scoring 12 goals in those 13 contests. Houston do, however, have two big early wins in that record, as they beat him and the Revs – on penalty kicks in 2006 (above) and 2-1 in 2007 – for both of their MLS Cup championships.
Houston may have gotten the better of Reis and the Revs in 2011, notching a 1-0 win and 1-1 draw in their two meetings, but it was not for lack of effort on the netminder’s part. He combined for 13 saves, accentuated by some truly outstanding stops, that kept Houston from running away in both matches.
“He’s been good against a lot of people, not just us,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said of the 37-year-old veteran Thursday. “He’s a good shot-stopper and the last time we played him we scored in the 90th minute off a set piece and he pulled off some great saves. We all know Matt and we’re going to try and hit it where he can’t get to it.”
Houston have tested the goalkeeper in their last three matches, getting off 53 shots in that span of time. They will look to continue that trend and force Reis into action as much as possible and keep their recent success against the netiminder going.
“You can’t worry about what [Reis is] going to do,” midfielder Brad Davis said. “You just have to put the opportunities on goal and give yourself a chance to hit the target and at some point they’re going to hit the back of the net.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.