MLS Regular Season
I don't normally write posts encouraging fans to watch non-Dynamo games, but Saturday's match between the Chicago Fire and the New York Red Bulls carries a lot of significance, on and off the field.
On the field, these are two teams ahead of the Dynamo in the standings. The Fire and Red Bulls are currently tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of the Dynamo. With three games to go in the regular season, the Dynamo would love nothing more than to clinch a playoff spot and finish in one of the top three positions, thus missing the one-game wild-card match between the fourth and fifth place teams.
Off the field, Saturday's match is the second MLS match to be broadcast on the main NBC channel. The first was on September 15, when the Portland Timbers played the Seattle Sounders to a 1-1 draw in front of a sold-out crowd at JELD-WEN Field.
MLS is in the first year of a TV deal with NBC Sports and by all accounts, the partnership has been a success, with higher ratings and top-notch broadcasts on both NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. We encourage all fans to support the growth of the league and tune in to Saturday's match on NBC before heading to BBVA Compass Stadium for our match vs. the Montreal Impact. Below is a complete TV schedule for Saturday's matches.
Saturday, October 6
The latest power rankings are out and following the Dynamo's 3-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped Houston one spot from No. 7 to No. 8. Here is what they had to say about the current state of the Dynamo:
Boniek García is more comfortable and dangerous on the wing. The problem is that Houston are more comfortable and dangerous with him in central midfield. Dominic Kinnear needs to go with that option, and just trust in Mac Kandji, Calen Carr and new man Giles Barnes to hold down the flanks.
This weekend, the Dynamo will take on the New England Revolution, who MLSsoccer.com rank at the No. 17 team in the league. Check out what the writers had to say about this weekend's opponent:
In a season of sorrow for the Revs, Lee Nguyen's year-ending surgery is the latest blow. The attacker's been one of the more entertaining players in the league (even if he's prone to over-dribbling), and his presence will be missed as Jay Heaps' men try to put in a respectable end to the campaign.
So let's hear it Dynamo fans. Where do the Dynamo stack up in your rankings? Are they 7, 8, 9 or elsewhere? And what do you think they need to do to get to the top? Leave us your comments below!
Dynamo striker Will Bruin has made a huge jump from year one to year two. The Indiana University product scored five goals in his rookie campaign after being thrust into the starting lineup on opening day. Although expectations were high for the sophomore striker heading into 2012, Bruin has managed the expecations well to the tune of 11 goals and three assists in 27 games played.
The national media is starting to take note as well, as Bruin came in at No. 11 on MLSsoccer.com's top 24 players under the age of 24. Last year, Bruin was not included on the list.
"It's awesome," Bruin said when told about his place in the ranking. "It shows that my hard work and motivation has transfered from last year to this year. With that said, I still have a lot to work on to get to where I want to be."
For the first time in league history, Major League Soccer released the list of the the top-selling adidas player jerseys sold via either MLSGear.com, MLSGearCanada.ca, as well as MLS club websites. Two Houston Dynamo players are in the top 25 with Brian Ching coming in at No. 10 and Brad Davis at No. 18. Check out the full list below
|1.||David Beckham||LA Galaxy|
|2.||Thierry Henry||New York Red Bulls|
|3.||Landon Donovan||LA Galaxy|
|4.||Fredy Montero||Seattle Sounders FC|
|5.||Dwayne De Rosario||D.C. United|
|6.||Chris Wondolowski||San Jose Earthquakes|
|7.||Tim Cahill||New York Red Bulls|
|8.||Robbie Keane||LA Galaxy|
|9.||Mauro Rosales||Seattle Sounders FC|
|10.||Brian Ching||Houston Dynamo|
|11.||Darlington Nagbe||Portland Timbers|
|12.||Chris Pontius||D.C. United|
|13.||Osvaldo Alonso||Seattle Sounders FC|
|14.||Young-Pyo Lee||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|15.||Kris Boyd||Portland Timbers|
|16.||Barry Robson||Vancouver Whitecaps FC|
|17.||Eddie Gaven||Columbus Crew|
|18.||Brad Davis||Houston Dynamo|
|19.||Roger Torres||Philadelphia Union|
|20.||Freddy Adu||Philadelphia Union|
|21.||Kei Kamara||Sporting Kansas City|
|22.||Kyle Beckerman||Real Salt Lake|
|23.||Mike Magee||LA Galaxy|
|24.||Saer Sene||New England Revolution|
|25.||Arne Friedrich||Chicago Fire|
It's been four weeks since the Dynamo jumped up to the No. 2 spot in the MLSsoccer.com Power Rankings. Since then, the club has gone 0-2-2, and although they came home with four points in their first two CONCACAF Champions League road matches, they have been unable to maintain their earlier form in league play. Last week, the Dynamo were placed in the fifth spot in the weekly rankings. This week, following Houston's 3-1 loss at the Chicago Fire, the Dynamo were placed ninth. Here is what the writers at MLSsoccer.com had to say about the Dynamo:
Their nosedive in the Power Rankings (and standings) coincides with Mac Kandji's nosedive in form. To make the 4-3-3 work, you need wingers who can beat their man both with and without the ball, threaten goal themselves and make quick decisions when double-teamed. Kandji's fallen short on those last two fronts over the past month.
A little harsh, but other writers seem to agree with how the league views the Dynamo's slide. Over at SI.com, Avi Creditor puts the Dynamo in the eighth spot of his rankings. ESPN.com's Jeff Carlisle is a little more optimistic about the Dynamo, only dropping them two spots to seventh in his ranking. Lastly, Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America has not jumped off the Dynamo bandwagon, moving Houston to No. 5 in his ranking.
So what do you think? Do you agree with Ridge, Jeff, Avi or MLSsoccer? Or do you have the Dynamo elsewhere in you ranking? Let us know!
Brad Davis' left-footed strike in the 19th minute of Sunday's match has been nominated for the AT&T Goal of the Week for Week 24. The Dynamo midfielder received a square pass from Boniek Garcia, took one touch and fired it into the upper left-hand corner of the net past a diving Andy Gruenebaum. The goal was Davis' sixth of the season, which tied a career high that he set in 2003 as a member of the Dallas Burn.
This morning, MLSsoccer.com unveiled their annual poll to see who are the top 24 players under the age of 24. In 2010, Seattle Sounders striker Fredy Montero earned the No. 1 ranking. Last year, FC Dallas and U.S. men's national team midfielder Brek Shea took home the title.
In previous years, the vote was determined by a select group of panelists. This year, fans will have the opportunity to voice their opinions. The fan vote will count for 10 percent of the ballot. The other 90 percent will derive from the votes of a panel of media members and the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff.
In the first two years of the vote, no Dynamo player saw representation in the top 24. Could this be the first year a Dynamo player breaks through? Eligible Dynamo players include: Will Bruin, Warren Creavalle, Alex Dixon, Erich Marscheider, Brian Ownby, Colin Rolfe, Kofi Sarkodie and Josue Soto.
If you are talking about the contest on Twitter, be sure to use #24U24.
Come on Dynamo fans, let's take to the polls and have your voice be heard!
The Houston Dynamo traveled to Red Bull Arena carrying a five-game winning streak and an eight-game unbeaten streak. After 90 minutes, neither streak remained intact as the Red Bulls defeated the men in orange 2-0. It was the first defeat for Houston since a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Impact on July 23. It was also the first time the Dynamo allowed more than one goal in a match since the Montreal loss. Along with the Dynamos' run up the Eastern Conference standings, Houston also made a strong push in the weekly power rankings, coming in at No. 2 ahead of the showdown in Harrison. After the loss, though, the writers at MLSsoccer.com knocked Houston down a notch to No. 3. They had this to say about the current state of the Dynamo:
Houston's unbeaten run had to end sometime, and it makes sense that it happened at RBNY, who are the league's only other side unbeaten at home. The Dynamo still put up a quality fight, and with better finishing – their one ongoing concern – could have come away with a point.
ESPN.com's Jeffrey Carlisle, who moved the Dynamo to the top spot after their dismantling of New York on August 3, dropped Houston one spot to No. 2. Carlilse moved the San Jose Earthquakes back to the top spot, which is tough to argue with after the club stole another three points with a last-minute goal at Buck Shaw Stadium. Over at SI.com, Avi Creditor was a little more harsh on Dominic Kinnear's men, dropping them two spots to No. 4.
So where do you put the Dynamo after week 23 of the MLS season? Are they still in your top 5?