Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers | MLS Match Preview

April 27, 2014 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #71)
2 p.m. CT (UniMás; CSN-Hou+; KPTV FOX-12)

The Houston Dynamo return home to face the Portland Timbers in a meeting of a pair of clubs desperately seeking victories when the clubs clash Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their winless streak hit five games and their goalless drought pass five hours, following a 4-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls at midweek. The Timbers are still looking for their first victory of 2014 after seven matches, coming off a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake.

REFEREE: David Gantar. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 25 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 9; pens: 1

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Norbetto Paparetto, Diego Chara

ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 4 goals … Timbers 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
AT HOUSTON (2 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 2 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
4/6: POR 2, HOU 0 (R. Johnson 55, 73)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Timbers took a 2-0 win last April 6 at home in the only meeting between the two teams, their first win ever against the Dynamo.
  • Houston had won two of the first three meetings all-time, with a draw coming in the first game at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2012.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. POR: P4 W2 L1 D1 … Caleb Porter vs. HOU: P1 W1 L0 D0

The Houston Dynamo had their winless and scoreless streaks extended, falling 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 7 games.


  • The Red Bulls were in front just 12 minutes into the match. Kosuke Kimura found a free-roaming Thierry Henry down the right flank, and he then sent in a low cross that Bradley Wright-Phillips directed home from the center of the six-yard box.
  • Another good sequence 12 minutes later put the Red Bulls two in front. Roy Miller won a 50-50 ball from a Henry pass down the left flank before picking out Wright-Phillips at the near post for a one-touch finish.
  • It was 3-0 for the the Red Bulls in the 65th minute when Henry scored with ease, driving the ball into an unguarded net from the heart of the area after Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall pushed a cross into his path.
  • The rout was completed in the 85th minute when Wright-Phillips converted a penalty kick to complete his hattrick, after Henry was bowled over in the penalty area by Dynamo winger Tony Cascio.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw against Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Warren Creavalle came into the back four for the suspended Kofi Sarkodie.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1-2): Tally Hall - Warren Creavalle (Servando Carrasco 73), David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe - Tony Cascio, Ricardo Clark (A.J. Cochran 63), Andrew Driver - Boniek Garcia - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Omar Cummings 80).


  • The Dynamo lost their third consecutive game and saw their winless streak stretched to five matches, since opening the campaign with back-to-back victories. The loss in New York completed a three-game road swing (0-2-1).
  • “We have to go back to basics, work hard, defend well and be dangerous in front of the goal,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “That's always the simple plan. We just weren't sharp in front of the goal and weren't sharp defending. Those are two areas that definitely let us down tonight. … It just wasn’t a good night for us.”
  • The Dynamo have now gone 319 minutes without scoring a goal, the longest such streak in MLS this season, and the second-longest in the club’s history. The Dynamo went 388 minutes without scoring from June 1 to July 6 of last year; their last goal came April 5 in the 4-1 home loss to FC Dallas.
  • “We had chances,” Kinnear said. “Teams are not going to jump out of the way and let us score. It’s difficult to do. Sometimes they come in bunches like they were at the beginning of the season, sometimes they’re hard to come by. We had [enough] chances tonight that I think we were good for a goal.”
  • It was the second time in the last three meetings the Red Bulls have scored four goals against the Dynamo. The 4-0 result matches the second-most goals allowed in a game in Dynamo club history – the Dynamo also lost 4-1 to New York last Sept. 8. (The club record came in a 5-0 loss to Montréal last Aug. 24).
  • “Defensively if we shore up and do a good job it makes it easier for everyone else on the field,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “It’s too easy to look forward and say I wish you guys would’ve scored five goals, of course, but you can’t just give away goals. It makes it too easy for another team to sit in and control the game.”
  • With Kofi Sarkodie suspended, Warren Creavalle made his first start of the season, at right back. Creavalle had come on as a substitute in each of the three previous games.
  • There was an injury concern coming out of the Red Bulls match after Ricardo Clark was forced from the field in the 63rd minute following a collision with hat trick man Wright-Phillips.
  • “Winning fixes everything,” Hall said. “It’s important to go home, Portland on Sunday, because if you get a win all the feelings we have right now evaporate instantly. Then you go build off that so the game against Portland at home is an opportunity that we can’t let slip away.”
  • Said striker Giles Barnes: “I'm still trying to figure out what happened. We came out flying and we thought we had them. Then once they scored a goal that kind of swung the pendulum their way. But we have confidence in what we're doing. The season's a marathon, not a sprint. Judge us at the end of the year.''

The Portland Timbers had their season-opening winless run extended to seven matches, dropping a 1-0 decision to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Timbers are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 4 points from 7 games.


  • The game's lone goal came in the 78th minute. Midfielder Ned Grabavoy took a pass from Sebastián Velásquez and drove past a defender into the left side of the Timbers area before finishing with a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
  • Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando made four saves, three of the spectacular variety, in earning his 111th career shutout, one short of tying the all-time MLS record held by Kevin Hartman.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 tie with Chivas USA at Providence Park. Jack Jewsbury came back into the side in place of Alvas Powell.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury (Alvas Powell 83), Pa Modou Kah, Mamadou Danso, Michael Harrington - Will Johnson, Diego Chara - Kalif Alhassan (Michael Nanchoff 77), Diego Valeri (Gaston Fernandez 61), Darlington Nagbe - Maximiliano Urruti.


  • The Timbers saw their winless streak reach seven games, matching the second-longest in the club’s MLS history, one game shy of its record set July 7-Aug. 19, 2012.
  • “It’s going to come. I’ve been around this game long enough, I’ve been around teams long enough. I’ve seen games. I’ve seen teams that don’t get results,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “We’re not not getting results because we’re a bad team, we’re just not making a few plays here or there. You can see our team’s organized, you can see they have a good chemistry, you can see with the flow of the game that we’re playing well enough to win games.”
  • Said Will Johnson: “It’s all about results. We have to step up and make plays, and there are plays out there that are there to be made. This is professional soccer, and when we get in those big moments we look like amateurs. So we have to face the reality that we have to be better.”
  • For a fourth consecutive game, the Timbers allowed the tying or losing goal late in the match, with Real Salt Lake hitting for the winner in the 78th minute. The week before, Chivas USA scored in the 79th minute; FC Dallas hit for the winner on March 29 in the 84th minute, and Seattle scored two goals after the 85th minute the following week.
  • “When you’re on the road playing a team like Salt Lake, you don’t want to be in an open game. You want the game to be tight. And the game went exactly how we wanted it to go, but like I said in the 65th to the 75th minute, before they got their goal, we had them on the ropes and we need to finish our chances when we get in that position. That’s ultimately the difference in the game,” Porter said.
  • While Porter maintained the same front six from the draw with Chivas USA, he did make an early change when Gaston Fernandez came on for Diego Valeri just after the hour.
  • “I think you always make decisions based on the flow of the game and what you feel. I just felt that was the right move at that point in time. Seemed like he took a knock and was carrying that a little bit,” Porter said. “So, I thought Gaston [Fernandez] went in and was really, really effective and Michael Nanchoff as well. Those two guys really gave us some energy and so it was a big reason why we got so many chances late in the game.”
  • The Timbers were shut out at the attacking end for a second time this season; in all but the 4-4 draw with Seattle, Portland has scored one goal or less.
  • “I’m very pleased overall with how we defended. They didn’t get very many chances. And I’m pleased that we had the better of the chances as well. But, we’ve got to make the plays to win the game,” Porter said. “But you also have to credit their goalkeeper, it wasn’t always poor finishing, it was a few world-class saves that preserved the win for them.”

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