Toronto FC pays first visit to BBVA Compass Stadium
After taking the Texas Derby 2-1 on Saturday, the Dynamo will have a quick turnaround when they take on Toronto FC Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Reds arrived in town Sunday evening, following their 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The loss dropped Toronto's record to 1-10 on the year and 0-1 under interim head coach Paul Mariner, who took over for Aron Winter last week.
Something's gotta give
The Dynamo are unbeaten in MLS play at BBVA Compass Stadium (3-0-1), but their home unbeaten streak extends well beyond the May 12 opener vs. D.C. United. Including the postseason, the Dynamo are unbeaten in their last 13 home MLS matches, which includes games played at Robertson Stadium and BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston's last home loss was a 2-0 defeat to the Columbus Crew on June 18, 2011.
On the flip side, Toronto FC enters BBVA Compass Stadium without a point on the road in 2012 (0-5-0). Toronto has been outscored 13-5 in its five road games this season, and has allowed three goals or more on three separate ocassions. Toronto's last MLS road win came on September 10, 2011, when they defeated the Columbus Crew 4-2 at Crew Stadium.
Champions of Canada
Although Toronto has struggled to earn points in MLS play this season, their run in CONCACAF Champions League has caught the eye of folks around MLS. The Reds were the last MLS team to be eliminated from the 2011-12 tournament, falling in the semifinals to Mexican league champion Santos Laguna. Toronto is back in Champions League again, having defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 on aggregate in the Amway Canadian Championship.
Players to watch
At first glance, the Toronto FC record leaves much to be desired, however, their roster is full of players that can pose Houston problems.
1. Joao Plata - The diminutive Ecuadoran burst onto the scene in 2011 with three goals and five assists in his rookie campaign. Plata has been kept off the scoresheet in 2012, but the 5-foot-2 winger is dangerous and has the potential to give the Dynamo fits down the flanks. In last year's matchup between the clubs at BMO Field, Plata tallied a goal and an assist in what many considered his breakout game in MLS.
2. Danny Koevermans - Similar to Plata, Koevermans enjoyed much success in his first year in Major League Soccer, scoring eight goals in only 10 games played. The Dutch forward has two goals this season but with his 6-foot-3 frame he will not shy away from aeriel battles with Dynamo center backs Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron.
3. Ryan Johnson - The Jamaican international was a major reason Toronto advanced as far as they did in Champions League. Johnson scored five goals in the tournament including two against the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinal series. Johnson only has one goal through 11 games in 2012, but there is no denying he will be a target for Toronto on Wednesday night.
Limited tickets are still available for Wednesday's match. The first five matches at BBVA Compass Stadium have sold out, so this is the perfect opportunity for fans to see the men in orange at home. To purchase tickets, call (713) 276-GOAL or click here.