Match Preview: Dynamo vs. NE Revolution

Cameron vs. Joseph midfield battle will be key

HOU_20100814_Lovel_Palmer

Photo Credit: 
Jim Rogash / Getty Images

The Basics

Houston
Dynamo
(7-14-6, 27 points, seventh in Western Conference) vs.
New England Revolution (7-15-5, 26 points, seventh in Eastern Conference)
Sunday, October 10, 7:30 p.m. CT
Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX 

All-time record: New England leads 5-2-5 (5-1-3 regular season)

Broadcast Info

7:15 p.m. KHOU 11.2 (English)
7:30 p.m. FOX Sports Houston Plus (English)
7:00 p.m. TV Informa (Spanish)
6:45 p.m. SportsTalk 790 (English)
7:00 p.m. La Ranchera 850 (Spanish)

Game Guide - downloadable PDF

>>WATCH: David Nuno previews the match<<

Ticket Info

Get the best ticket deals at HoustonDynamo.com/tickets, including Breast Cancer Awareness Night tickets.

Game Intro

Two teams already eliminated from playoff contention square off solely for pride Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.

Both sides are in a very uncharacteristic spot this season. Usually
matching up for trophies – they have faced each other for two MLS Cups and a
SuperLiga title in the last five years – the Dynamo and the Revs
have fallen on hard times of late with the departure of some of their
former stars to Europe and with other contributors lost through
expansion drafts or via trades.

On Sunday, both will try to show at least a hint of what was and
give fans something to cheer for as the current season winds down and
sights are set on 2011.

New England Revolution

The Revs enter the showdown with Houston winless in their last five
MLS matches, having conceded 11 goals in three losses. But don’t let
those results fool you: New England jumped out to two-goal leads
against both Dallas and Columbus only to tie those matches and fell 2-1
to Real Salt Lake despite outshooting their opponent 20-6.

The Revs also held serve at home against Houston less than two
months ago, when they won by a 1-0 margin on an Ilija Stolica
second-half goal. New England's victory took the wind out of Houston’s
playoff hopes and gave the Revs at least a glimmer of hope, but failing
to win in their last five has now shut the door on their playoff
aspirations.

New England will be shorthanded Sunday as Gambian internationals Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi will miss the match after being called up for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and seven players were listed on Tuesday's injury report. New England could be down to just 12 field players available for Sunday's game.

Houston Dynamo

While the Dynamo have yet to put two consecutive victories together,
they did get a draw following a win for the first time all year last
week.

Houston’s improved play has been a result of the combination of Geoff Cameron and Lovel Palmer
putting in improved performances in the center of the the midfield. As
a result, the team has gotten substantially more of the ball and, while
the Dynamo have not created a plethora of opportunities in attack, the
team’s improved possession has resulted in seven goals in their last
three matches.

The Men in Orange will be without Brian Ching, Anthony Obodai and Tally Hall on Sunday. Thus, expect Pat Onstad to start in goal, with Cam Weaver and Dominic Oduro up top.

Heroes & villains

Shalrie Joseph vs. Geoff Cameron:
It’s hard to imagine two bigger, more physical midfielders battling in
the center of the field than these two. Joseph has always been a thorn
in not only Houston’s side, but really for most of his MLS opponents.
Cameron will have to establish the same presence he has displayed over
the last couple of games for Houston to keep Joseph from making
dangerous forward runs.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm”

New England has yet to lose at Robertson Stadium, compiling a 3-0-1 record.

 

Keys to the Game

Houston
  • Track Shalrie Joseph’s late runs into box.
  • Continue improved possession play.

New England
  • Tight marking on Dynamo set pieces.
  • Exert high pressure on the Dynamo midfield to force turnovers.

 

Injuries
Houston

OUT:
MF Colin Clark (L knee surgery); FW Brian Ching (R knee swelling);
DOUBTFUL: MF Anthony Obodai (L knee meniscus); GK Tally Hall (R ankle
sprain)


New England

OUT:
DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain); FW Zak Boggs (concussion); GK
Preston Burpo (R leg fracture/surgery); DF Cory Gibbs (infection); FW
Taylor Twellman (concussion); FW Roberto Linck (R adductor strain);
DOUBTFUL: MF Nico Colaluca (L knee sprain)