Match Preview: Houston vs. Colorado

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Photo Credit: 
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Basics

Houston Dynamo (5-7-1) vs. Colorado Rapids (6-3-2)
7:30 p.m.
Robertson Stadium
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All-time record: Houston leads the series 8-3-2 (7-3-2 regular season)

Game Guide - downloadable PDF

Gameday Information

Broadcast info

KHOU 11.2 (7:15 p.m. pregame)
TV Informa (7 p.m. pregame)
SportsTalk 790 (6:45 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 (7 p.m. pregame)

What's at stake?

Houston will soon begin running out of games as it tries to make up
ground on a playoff spot. The Rapids are one of the teams ahead of the Dynamo in the standings, so three points in a home game against a Western
Conference rival is critical for Houston. If the Rapids can limit
Houston to a tie or possibly even pull out a victory, Colorado will
distance itself from the pack — and in particular Houston, who the
Rapids host later in the year.

Last meeting

August 30, 2009: With the Rapids desperate for points near
the end of the season, the Dynamo — who at the time were in first
place — traveled to Dick’s Sporting Good Park. The hosts, though, were
quite rude to the visitors: Forward Kei Kamara should have given Houston a goal early in the second half off a breakaway, but goalkeeper Matt Pickens stood his ground to preserve the clean sheet and earn the Rapids three points. Julien Baudet scored the game-winner off a header from Mehdi Ballouchy's corner kick in the 55th minute.

Heroes & Villains

Brian Ching vs. Scott PalgutaWith Baudet likely out injured, Palguta seems like the likely choice to partner with Drew Moor
in the center of the Rapids' defense. After being cut from the U.S. World
Cup squad, Houston forward Brian Ching scored two goals in three MLS
games. If Palguta can minimize Ching’s effectiveness, not only in front
of goal, but also in holding the ball up, Colorado may be able to sneak
out of Robertson with a point or three.

Omar Cummings vs. Eddie RobinsonSpeed
has frequently been the Achilles’ heel of the Houston Dynamo defense,
and Cummings has plenty to trouble Houston. Communication between
Robinson and Bobby Boswell will be important for the Dynamo to limit the opportunities created by the Conor Casey-Cummings partnership.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm ..."

The Dynamo are 5-0-1 all-time at home against Colorado, and
that includes a 3-1 win in the Western Conference championship game in 2006.

He said it

“We need to get going in the second half, and we have some points to
get and some teams to try to climb over. No better time than now to
start against Colorado.” — Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.