Match Preview: Dynamo at Colorado Rapids

Houston looks to continue playoff push on the road

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Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The Basics

Colorado Rapids (7-6-7, 28 points, 6th in Western Conference) vs. Houston Dynamo (6-10-5, 23 points, 7th in Western Conference)
Saturday, August 28, 8:30 p.m. CT
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City CO

All-time record: Houston lead the series 8-3-3 (7-3-3 regular season)

Broadcast Info

7:45 p.m. SportsTalk 790 (English)
8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel (English)
8 p.m. Fox Sports en Espanol (Spanish)
8 p.m. La Ranchera 850 (Spanish)

Game Intro

This matchup is another crucial game for both Western Conference
teams. Colorado has won only once in its last 10 games, and
Saturday’s match is the first of two straight at home, while Houston is trying to stay in the playoff race.

Earlier this year, the Rapids and the Dynamo drew 2-2 in Houston
after the World Cup break. In 2009, each team beat the other 1-0 at
home.

Colorado Rapids

After a disappointing defeat last week on the road in Columbus,
where the Rapids failed to take advantage of superior possession, the
team is looking forward to two consecutive home games, against Houston
on Saturday and against Chivas USA on the following weekend.

Both opponents are below the Rapids in the Western Conference, and Rapids
head coach Gary Smith has described these games as “very winnable.” Scott Palguta,
who started against the Crew last weekend in central defense, said
earlier this week that these next two home games are must-wins.

“These games at home [are against] what is perceived to be weaker
opposition,” Palguta said. “That’s a tricky word to use, because nobody
is truly weak in this league. Anybody can beat anybody. But at home,
down the stretch, these are games we have to win."

Houston Dynamo

Houston had an encouraging victory against the Chicago Fire last weekend -- its first in league play since May 22 -- thanks mainly to Brian Ching's
hat trick. Ching scored his third goal in the 85th minute to clinch
victory for the Dynamo after Chicago had battled back from a 3-1 deficit
to tie the game.

The Dynamo have conceded more goals than any other team in the Western Conference.

Heroes & Villains

Conor Casey and Omar Cummings vs. Houston's defense --
The Rapids’ strikers are due for a breakout game. Casey has not netted
since a July 17 equalizer against Kansas City, and Cummings’ last goal
was a screamer against Seattle in a 2-1 road loss on July 25. The Rapids
have created enough chances despite their recent poor run, so the
suffering Houston defense may have its work cut out against two
Colorado strikers chomping at the bit to turn things around.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm..."

Colorado has scored 22 goals so far this season. That is 10 less than the Rapids had at this point last season.

Colorado
  • Needs to score early in order to impose itself and break out of winless rut
  • Must
    erase defensive mistakes, much like last week's, when the Rapids conceded a
    penalty in the sixth minute and later gave up a soft goal on a defensive
    error

Houston
  • Need to be on high alert against a Colorado strike force eager to make amends for some not-so-clinical finishing recently
  • Look for Brian Ching, who is coming off a hat trick and is frequently a thorn in Colorado’s side