Last Saturday, the Houston Dynamo and KPRC Local 2 kicked off their new partnership with a 30-minute feature titled "The New Home of the Dynamo." The feature was the first of a series of monthly TV shows on KPRC dedicated to Dynamo news, on and off the pitch. The first episode was scheduled to air at 5 p.m. CT, but due to a double-overtime hockey game, the start time was pushed back until 6:30 p.m. For those that were able to watch the show at home, we hope you enjoyed and look forward to hearing your feedback. For those that were not able to catch it, KPRC was kind enough to post it on their website.
The first episode featured interviews with Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and the voice of the Dynamo, Glenn Davis. Randy McIlvoy also went inside BBVA Compass Stadium with Brian Ching and Brad Davis and took a look at a series of community initiatives called Building a Better Houston presented by BBVA Compass.
Most importantly, Dynamo fans got their first look at a series of promos shot with Davis, Ching and Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron. Trust me, these are things you do not want to miss.
So with the Dynamo having two weeks off from MLS play, I decided to take two weeks off from providing fantasy advice. Hopefully your team didn't suffer too much!
This weekend, the Dynamo travel to Chicago for an Eastern Conference tilt with the Fire. Historically, the Dynamo have done well at Toyota Park, coming away with a 3-1-2 record and 10 goals scored in six matches.
This weekend should be an interesting one from a fantasy perspective. Midfielders Adam Moffat and Colin Clark are suspended and Brad Davis is doubtful with a calf injury. Since Colin Clark would normally be the replacement for Davis on the left hand side, Dominic Kinnear will have to dig into his bag of tricks to fill out Sunday's lineup card. He could start Jermaine Taylor at left back and move Corey Ashe into a familiar position at left mid, or he could leave Corey Ashe at left back and play anyone from Alex Dixon to Je-Vaughn Watson to Calen Carr to Mac Kandji at the outside mid positions.
With that said, here are a few key notes heading into Sunday's showdown with the Fire:
- In 13 career games against the Fire, Brian Ching has scored four goals and tallied three assists. If you recall two years ago, it was against Chicago that Ching recorded a hat trick in a 4-3 shootout at Robertson Stadium.
- Bobby Boswell scored five goals last year but has yet to record a goal this year. However, Boswell did score the game-tying goal at Toyota Park in 2011. The Dynamo center back has three career goals against Chicago.
- With Brad Davis, Colin Clark and Adam Moffat out, it will be interesting to see who steps up to take set pieces. As a natural left-footed player, Corey Ashe could swing in some crosses from the right side of the field. And maybe Luiz Camargo will have the opportunity from the left? Regardless, whoever steps up to the set pieces will have ample opportunity to record some assists.
- Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall has only faced the Fire twice and each time he has come away with a 1-1 draw. The second-year starter has look solid in 2012 and with speedsters Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko up top for Chicago, look for Hall to have a busy night on Sunday.
- The Fire have three players all-time who have scored two goals or more against the Dynamo. Thankfully, one of those players (Calen Carr) now wears orange and the other two are no longer with the club. Dominic Oduro played twice against his former club in 2011 and scored the Fire's lone goal at Robertson Stadium. The man has speed, and Chicago will look to go to him early and often against the Dynamo back line.
Hopefully this provides you a little more insight into Sunday's matchup from a fantasy perspective. As always, I take no credit if you start a player I suggest and he does well and I take no blame if you start a player I suggest and he doesn't perform up to your fantasy standards.
Don't forget to set your lineups by tomorrow and good luck this weekend!
There is only so much I can say about the Dynamo's place in the power rankings after consecutive bye weeks. So let's get down to it. With the sudden surge of Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls, and results pending from a Brad Davis MRI, the folks at MLSsoccer.com dropped the Dynamo to the No. 6 spot in their rankings. They said:
They didn't play, but they still drop a spot thanks to New York's jump and concern over Brad Davis' calf. If their midfield maestro is laid up for any amount of time, the Dynamo could be in for a steep, hard fall. Especially with four more left on the road.
Hopefully we'll have more news soon as to whether or not Davis can play on Sunday at Chicago.
Elsewhere around the world of soccer, Brian Straus of The Sporting News agrees with the MLSsoccer.com folks with regard to the Dynamo's place in the league rankings. SI.com's Avi Creditor gives the Dynamo a bit more credit, keeping Houston in the No. 4 spot in his rankings, while ESPN.com's Jeff Carlisle drops Houston to No. 5.
So what do you think? After consecutive bye weeks, should the Dynamo still be in the 4-6 spot in the rankings? Who would be your top five? Let us know in the comments below!
Houston Dynamo midfielder Josue Soto, who recently joined the San Antonio Scorpions on loan, started and played 90 minutes in San Antonio's season-opening game, Saturday night against the Atlanta Silverbacks. The homegrown product will be with the NASL club until May 7, but will join the Dynamo in Frisco today for their reserve league match against the FC Dallas Reserves. Watch below for a 2:30 minute highlight package from the 0-0 draw, Saturday night at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Look what we saw going up outside the stadium today? Rumor has it that sign installation will be complete by the weekend. We'll provide you photo updates throughout and video once the final piece is complete. And if you haven't watched it yet, be sure to check out the latest stadium update, courtesy of HoustonDynamo.com's Matt Pedersen.
Bobby Boswell said on a recent radio interview that during these three weeks off, there will be teams that jump the Dynamo in the standings, but Houston players have to remember that they will get those games back down the road. After Houston's first of two consecutive bye weeks, a few Eastern Conference foes stepped their game up and took it to their (seemingly more dominant) Western Conference counterparts.
Although the ranking on MLSsoccer.com/Standings is the one that matters most come season's end, the virtual standings in the weekly power rankings do offer an opportunity for healthy debate. After serving as spectators for last weekend's matches, the Dynamo remained in the 5th spot in MLSsoccer.com's power rankings. San Jose made a sizeable jump after a stunning victory at Seattle and LA dropped below Houston after an even more stunning loss at home to New England. Here is what the writers at MLSsoccer.com had to say about Houston:
The Dynamo are using their break to get Brian Ownby or Alex Dixon ready to go at right midfield, and likely Nathan Sturgis ready to go at defensive midfield. How their depth performs will be a good indication of how close they are to challenging SKC.
Dominic Kinnear is not one to tip his hand, but it's a good bet that some combination of Sturgis/Ownby/Dixon could see playing time when the Dynamo resume action on April 15. With a scrimmage on Thursday against Laredo Heat and a Reserve Game next Tuesday at FC Dallas, players will have ample time to show they belong in the starting lineup against the Chicago Fire.
Elsewhere around the league, SI.com's Avi Creditor believes the Dynamo looked very strong in their off-week and moved them up to No. 4 in his rankings. Brian Straus of The Sporting News was not as impressed and dropped Houston to No. 6 in his rankings, with San Jose and Colorado making the jump ahead of the men in orange.
So what do you think? Is 4-6 still the correct place for Houston at this point in the season? Would you have moved San Jose up as much and/or dropped LA as little?
Let us know what you think!
A road win is always good for a team's confidence as well as for a team's place in the weekly power rankings. After last weekend's 1-0 win at AT&T Park against the San Jose Earthquakes, the Dynamo moved up one spot to No. 5 in MLSsoccer.com's weekly rankings. Here is what the folks at MLSsoccer.com had to say about Houston:
Many pundits – including several on the Power Rankings Politburo – felt the Dynamo had the league's best defense heading into the season. They haven't disabused us yet, and there's no reason to think they'll do so any time soon. 1-0 on the road wins silverware, by the way.
Elsewhere around the soccerverse, ESPN.com's Jeff Carlisle moved Houston up one spot to No. 5. SI.com's Avi Creditor had the Dynamo in the five spot last week and did not make any changes to his top five. In addition, Creditor named Tally Hall to his Team of the Week. Over at Sporting News, Brian Straus moves Houston up two spots in his rankings to No. 5.
So what do you think? Esteemed soccer pundits around the league believe the Dynamo are the fifth best team in MLS. Do you think they should be ranked elsewhere?
I haven't been able to find a box score, but it looks like Kofi Sarkodie did see time in Sunday's scrimmage win over the Atlanta Silverbacks. Following the match, Kofi and Montreal's Zarek Valentin spoke with USSoccer.com's Heather Soltis. The U-23s begin Olympic qualifying on Thursday when they take on Cuba at 8 p.m. CT. The match can be seen on Universal Sports Network and Telemundo.
If you are anything like myself, then you are definitely enjoying the new Fantasy MLS game. I've decided that I'm going to start offering up some fantasy tips for Dynamo fans out there playing the game.
The first question on everyone's mind this week is whether or not Luiz Camargo will start vs. the San Jose Earthquakes. The short answer to that question is: I don't know. The longer answer is that Dominic Kinnear has a system and as long as his team is winning, he has been known to stick with the same team. After last week's 1-0 win at Chivas USA, it would not surprise me to see the same 11 players start the game. With that said, the Dynamo are a better team with Camargo on the field, so as long as he is 90-minutes fit, Kinnear might give him the nod. My recommendation would be to sit Camargo for another week and see how things play out.
Here are some other key statistics from past matchups between the Dynamo and the Earthquakes:
- Brad Davis has 3 goals and 4 assists in 9 careers matches vs. San Jose
- Brian Ching has 3 goals in 5 career matches vs. San Jose
- The Dynamo have a 65-39 edge over San Jose on corner kicks. Could that be an opportunity for a Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell or Andre Hainault to steal a goal from their defensive position?
- Earthquakes midfielder Khari Stephenson has 2 goals in 4 matches vs. the Dynamo
- Believe it or not, forward Chris Wondolowski has played 3 games against his former club, attempted 6 shots but has never scored
- Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch has played 4 career games vs. the Dynamo. He has a 2-2 record, has allowed four goals for a paltry 1.00 GAA.
I know this isn't a lot, but each week I'll try to give you a brief rundown of how Dynamo players have fared against the upcoming opposition and vice versa.
Hope this helps and good luck this week!
It's always interesting to see how much weight people put on one game. After the first week of the MLS season, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped the Dynamo one spot in their power rankings to No. 6. The writers were concerned about the inability of Dynamo forwards to score, but were impressed with another late goal by Andre Hainault and a beautiful pass by Geoff Cameron. On the flip side, Avi Creditor from SI.com kept the Dynamo at No. 5 in his poll, focusing on the fact that you take three points on the road whenever you can.
So what do you all think? Would you put the Dynamo higher or lower in your power rankings?