Following last night's 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round, a few Dynamo players / coaches set some personal milestones.
- Bobby Boswell played in his 185th Dynamo game in all competitions to move him into fourth all-time for the Dynamo.
- Will Bruin started his first playoff match and scored his first playoff goals.
- Bruin now has 14 goals in all competitions, becoming the second Dynamo player to reach that mark in a season (Ching in 06 and 08).
- Ricardo Clark appeared in his 141st Dynamo game in all competitions, passing Wade Barrett for eighth on the all-time list.
- Brad Davis started his 16 career playoff match with the Dynamo. He is now tied with Brian Ching atop the Dynamo's all-time list.
- Boniek Garcia started his first MLS playoff game.
- Kofi Sarkodie made his MLS playoff debut, starting and playing 90 minutes against Chicago.
- Tally Hall's postseason save percentage jumped to 89.7 last night. That is first all-time in MLS.
- Dominic Kinnear won his 11th career playoff match, tying Steve Nicol for fourth on the MLS all-time playoff wins chart.
As the season nears its end, it's time for the annual voting of the MLS Goal and Save of the Year. Goal of the Year voting opened today and the Dynamo are represented in Group 1 with Brad Davis' game-winning strike in the inaugural match at BBVA Compass Stadium. He is joined in the first group by goals from David Beckham, Kris Boyd and Darren Mattocks.
In case you forgot how good Davis' goal was, here it is:
Quite honestly, watching that goal gives me chills and I know it does the same for so many of you. Now let's do all we can to ensure it makes it to the next round of voting!
The most recent power rankings have been released on MLSsoccer.com and with the Dynamo’s loss against Colorado Rapids, Houston remains at No. 9 on the list. Here is what the writers at MLS had to say about the Dynamo’s performance on the field.
Midway through the summer, it looked like the Dynamo were going to end up as one of the league’s top teams, losing just once in 11 games and ripping off a five-game winning streak. Since then, they’re only 3-3-4, have changed formations a couple of times and seen the goals dry up. Terrifyingly, the key may very well be Mac Kandji. When he’s on, the 4-3-3 works. When he’s not, they’re meat.
Tomorrow, the Dynamo will face the Chicago Fire, a team that MLSsoccer.com has dropped from No. 6 in their rankings to No. 8 after the Fire’s 1-1 draw against D.C. United. Below is what the writer’s had to say about the Dynamo’s upcoming opponent:
If the Fire were clinical in front of the net, they’d probably be No. 3 on this list, but the 1-1 draw vs. United highlighted a disturbing trend of wasting chances. It’s seen them post just one win in their last four, and get relegated to the Knockout Round. The good news, though, is that they get to host it, and that they’re finally fully fit.
What do you think? Have the Dynamo lost the drive they had at the beginning of the season or will they accelerate through the playoffs for a shot at the MLS Cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
MLSsoccer.com polled the ten managers in the playoffs to see if they preferred to play the home leg first or second or if it didn't matter. Of course, this only comes to play if you are fortunate enough to advance to the conference semifinals where it is a two-game aggregate goal series.
Here is what Dominic Kinnear had to say:
Dominic Kinnear (Houston Dynamo): "In my opinion I think it's always better to have the second game at home. I feel more comfortable having the second game at home. I think in both cases you know exactly what you need to do. I think having the fans on your side for the last 90 minutes is a plus."
When the Houston Dynamo take the field on Wednesday in the Knockout Round playoff match, there will be a familiar face in the middle of the pitch. It was announced on Sunday, that Baldomero Toledo will be the center referee for the match against the Chicago Fire. Frank Anderson and Ian Anderson will patrol the sidelines, while Jorge Gonzalez will be the fourth official.
This will be the fifth Dynamo game of 2012 that Toledo has officiated. Houston is 0-1-3 in the previous four matches, including draws against the New England Revolution (5/19), Toronto FC (8/20) and Sporting Kansas City (9/14), and a loss to the Seattle Sounders (3/23).
In his career, Toledo has officiated 146 MLS games. He has averaged 25 fouls called per game and 3.4 yellow cards per game. Toledo has issued 48 red cards in his career and has given 52 penalty kicks.
In his four Dynamo games this season, Toledo has called two penalties against Houston, one in New England and one in Seattle.
At this point in the game, there is little reason to suspect fans do not know what is on the line this weekend.
Currently, the Dynamo sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. If the season ended today, they would travel to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday for a one-game wild-card match with the New York Red Bulls.
The only way for the Dynamo to avoid the wild-card game is if the following happens:
- Dynamo defeat Colorado Rapids
- D.C. United defeats Chicago Fire
- New York ties or loses to Philadelphia Union
If any other scenario happens, the Dynamo will be playing a match Wednesday night. The only question will be whether or not that match will be in the fortress of BBVA Compass Stadium or on the road at Red Bull Arena, Toyota Park or RFK Stadium.
With that said, we encourage Dynamo fans to keep a close watch on the matches Saturday afternoon. The Red Bulls and Union kick off an NBC tripleheader at 12:30 p.m. on NBC's main channel. That will be followed by D.C. United and the Chicago Fire at 3 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. The tripleheader concludes with the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Although that final match has no bearing on the Dynamo's playoff position, it will be interesting to watch Chris Wondolowski in his pursuit of Roy Lassiter's goal scoring record. Wondolowski needs one goal to tie Lassiter and two to take sole possession of the record.
Although much of the focus is on the Eastern Conference, few are talking about Western Conference matches that also could impact Houston. Currently, the Dynamo have 53 points. That is more than two Western Conference playoff teams; the LA Galaxy (51) and Vancouver Whitecaps (42). Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders sit on 56 points.
Now why is this important to the Dynamo? When two teams are left standing in the MLS Cup final, the team that hosts is the one that had more points in the regular season. The Dynamo could potentially have more regular season points than two Western Conference teams, and as many points as two others.
RSL hosts Vancouver Saturday night and LA hosts Seattle Sunday night. Although we are a month away from it mattering, those matches could come into play if the Dynamo make it to the MLS Cup final and host any of those four teams.
Getting in the Halloween mood? Check out these Dynamo stencil ideas for your pumpkins!
Look back on a memorable first year at BBVA Compass Stadium. Here's to a few more games in 2012...
BBVA Compass will host a one-hour live Q-and-A on Twitter with Brian Ching, who notched his 200th appearance with the Houston Dynamo in its 3-1 win last Saturday. Ching was introduced as the bank’s social media ambassador earlier this year to encourage fans to contribute to Building a Better Houston, BBVA Compass’ community-service initiative with the Dynamo.
DATE: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
TIME: 6-7 p.m. CT
WHERE: Fans can submit their questions via BBVA Compass’ Twitter handle @bbvacompass, using the hashtag #askching.