MLS Regular Season
No goals scored this week, but none allowed by the Dynamo as they grabbed a pair of 0-0 draws. On Tuesday, the Dynamo welcomed the Chicago Fire into town for their second meeting of the season. Their previous encounter was cut short due to lightning and ended in a 1-1 draw. The second time around didn't provide any separation between the two clubs. By all accounts, Houston was much more likely to grab a goal and the win, but Chicago was stout defensively and didn't allow any openings. Saturday's matchup was another tough one, as the Dynamo traveled to Sporting Kansas City. It was a matchup of similar systems, and it was reflected in the result. Both squads had their chances: Boniek Garcia was bested by Jimmy Nielsen in a one-on-one situation in the 15th minute, and Jacob Peterson hit the post for Kansas City in the 33rd minute. That was as close as anyone would get, however, as both Eastern Conference teams left with a point.
The two points gained in the ties brings Houston to 25 points and holding steady in 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings, three points behind 4th place Chicago and eight behind co-leaders Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United. In the power rankings world, the MLSsoccer.com contingent kept the Orange in the No. 9 position, saying this about the recent formation change and results:
Watching the Dynamo in a 4-3-3 is kind of like watching a bulldozer in the Indy 500. Whether or not the lineup makes the best use of their attacking parts, though, there’s no question that the defense has suddenly looked solid again. That’s a trade-off Dominic Kinnear’s probably happy to make.
We'll see if the switch is a long-term solution in the coming week, when both of the Eastern Conference leaders come to BBVA Compass Stadium, as well as Montreal next Saturday.
What do you think? Is No. 9 about right for the Dynamo at this point? Where do you think the Dynamo can end up with good results against D.C. and SKC? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
With a boyish smile, Boniek Garcia took the field this morning for the first time as a member of the Houston Dynamo. Head coach Dominic Kinnear used Boniek in an outside mid position, but said after training that he would not be afraid to move the Dynamo DP elsewhere if the need arose.
It was a tough week for the Dynamo against Canadian opposition, as they were only able to get one point against Toronto F.C. and the Montreal Impact. The team fought hard to come back from a 3-1 deficit against Toronto to earn a 3-3 draw. Bobby Boswell got his first goal of the season off a patented Brad Davis corner kick, and Will Bruin scored two goals (including the game-winning header in the 90th minute) to even the score. Davis and Bruin struck again against Montreal, with the Dancing Bear scoring his third goal of the week and ninth of season and Davis swerving home a free kick past Donovan Ricketts. Their goals weren't enough, however, as the Dynamo fell 4-2.
The draw and loss brings the Orange to an even 5-5-5 on the year, and fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. In response to the results, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped the Dynamo one spot in their power rankings, from No. 8 to No. 9. They had this to say:
Another team we may be giving too much respect to, but it's hard to avoid it when you look at what this group is capable of. We all remember what this defense looked like at the end of 2011, and there's no reason to think they won't get back there in 2012.
It's obvious that the defense hasn't looked its best this week, but as the writers say, there is plenty of talent on the back line. Add in the phenomenonal year that Will Bruin is having and the addition of Oscar Boniek Garcia, and the Dynamo look poised to make another playoff run.
Elsewhere in the power rankings world, Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN.com also ranks the Dynamo ninth, the Soccer By Ives crew had them at No. 10 and Steve Davis at ProSoccerTalk.com still likes the men in orange at No. 7.
What do you think? Who can the Dynamo leapfrog this week? Who's your top five? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
MLSsoccer.com continues its Power 5 series with a look at five records that are considered breakable, as well as five that will not be broken any time soon. No. 4 on the breakable list is career minutes played, a record held by none other than Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston. Ralston is described by his peers as an "Iron Man" and is credited not only for his longevity, but for his ability to maintain a high level throughout his career. Watch the video below to see what else the writers at MLSsoccer.com have to say about the Dynamo Assistant Coach and who they think could break his record.
In the latest episode of Anatomy of a Goal, MLSsoccer.com editor-in-chief Greg Lalas breaks down Luiz Camargo's strike against the New England Revolution. Lalas commends Camargo's willingnes to move without the ball, as well as Ching's intelligence to show for his teammate and draw defenders away from the open space. Watch the video below to see what else Lalas had to say.
MLSsoccer.com's Power 5 series continues this week with a look at the top five center backs in MLS. Coming in at No. 3 is Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron, a player who has only played the center back position for approximately two years yet has already caught the attention of U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. In the video, Cameron is praised for his calmness on the ball, his precision with his passing and his ability to start the attack.
In case you missed it, Dynamo midfielder Luiz Camargo opened his MLS scoring account in dramatic fashion on Saturday, finishing off a one-two with Brian Ching with an emphatic left-footed strike past Matt Reis to give Houston a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium. If you haven't seen the goal previously, watch the video below.
Aside from giving the Dynamo a much deserved point on the road, Camargo's goal has also been nominated for MLS Goal of the Week. This is the second consecutive week a Dynamo goal has been nominated.
Following the Dynamo's 1-0 win over D.C. United in the grand opening of BBVA Compass Stadium, KPRC Local 2 sports director Randy McIlvoy went live with the third edition of Dynamo 360. The show featured footage from the pregame festivities, ingame highlights and postgame celebrations. In addition, Brad Davis, Brian Ching and head coach Dominic Kinnear spoke with Randy on the field.
Dynamo 360 is a monthly show featuring exclusive Dynamo content on KPRC Local 2. This Saturday, KPRC Local 2 will air their third Dynamo match of the season. Saturday's match against New England kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT (pregame show: 6 p.m. CT).
We took a few weeks off providing Power Ranking updates, but now that we are only 11 days from the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium, we wanted to give you an update on where our team stacks up compared to the rest of MLS. The Dynamo are coming off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to D.C. United. The team came-from-behind twice to even the match, but Maicon Santos' 70th-minute goal proved to be the difference. The loss drops Houston to an even 2-2-2 after six consecutive road matches. Following the loss, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped Houston to No. 7 in their rankings and had this to say about the men in orange:
The Dynamo lost this one, but it’s a safe bet the result goes the other way once they finally set up camp at their new digs in downtown Houston. And has there been a better player in the league in the last three weeks than Will Bruin?
We tend to agree with the writers at MLSsoccer on both accounts. Don't you?
So what do you think? Are the Dynamo still in the 6-7 spot in the league or do you think they should be higher or lower? Who is in your top 5? Let us know in the comments below!
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!