Match Preview: Dynamo at Philadelphia Union

Houston hits the road looking to solidify playoff position

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union
Sunday, September 23, 3 p.m. CT
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
Union lead 2-1-2

BROADCAST INFORMATION
TV
FOX Sports Houston Plus - 3 p.m. (U-Verse: SD=691 HD=1691; Comcast: 110; DirecTV: SD=680; Dish Network: SD=446 HD=9516)
MultiMedios Houston - 2:30 p.m. (U-Verse: 3065; Comcast: 325)

Radio
KPRC 950 - 2:30 p.m.
La Ranchera 850 - 2:30 p.m.

PREVIEW
Philadelphia Union conclude their two-game home week with a crucial match against the Houston Dynamo Sunday afternoon at PPL Park. For Union, the arithmetic is simple: Win, or they will be eliminated from playoff contention, following their 1-0 home loss to D.C. United at midweek. The Dynamo find themselves holding onto fifth place in the Eastern Conference and the final postseason spot by just a single point, following their 1-1 draw at Sporting KC last weekend.

REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): James Conlee; JAR (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Ted Unkel

MLS Career: 51 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 4; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT:

  • PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: DF Bakary Soumare (R knee inflammation); DF Gabriel Farfan (R ankle contusion); MF Danny Cruz (L sesamoid stress reaction); PROBABLE: FW Zach Pfeffer (R hip flexor strain)
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: DF Corey Ashe (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jermaine Taylor (L quad contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Brian Carroll, Gabriel Gomez
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Gabriel Farfan, Michael Lahoud, Jack McInerney, Carlos Valdes … HOU: Corey Ashe, Bobby Boswell, Macoumba Kandji

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Union 2 wins, 7 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 2
  • AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 0 wins, 2 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 2

FUTURE MATCH: 10/20: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 6:30 p.m. CT (NBC SN)

  • The teams are playing for a second this time. A late Brian Ching penalty kick was the decider in a 2-1 Dynamo victory June 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • It was the Dynamo’s first win in league play vs. Philadelphia; Union had won two of the first four, with two draws. But Houston did win both legs of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal Series, a 2-1 win in Chester followed by a 1-0 victory in Houston, on their way to MLS Cup 2011.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. HOU: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Dominic Kinnear v PHI: P5 W1 L2 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)

6/30: HOU 2, PHI 1 (Davis 20; Ching 83 – Daniel 46)

  • The Dynamo grabbed the lead in the 20th minute. Boniek Garcia’s cross from the right found Macoumba Kandji on the edge of the box. The forward slid the ball into the path of the onrushing Brad Davis, who superbly curled the ball into the far corner.
  • Union pulled back to even terms just 36 seconds into the second half. Brian Carroll found Keon Daniel at the top of the box, and the Philly midfielder turned and lash a bouncing drive beyond Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall from 20 yards.
  • But the home side claimed the winner in the 83rd minute after Gabriel Farfan’s sent the Dynamo substitute Brian Ching tumbling to the turf. Referee Fotis Bazakos awarded a penalty and Ching converted the ensuing spot kick himself.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Geoff Cameron, Luiz Camargo (Warren Creavalle 79), Brad Davis - Will Bruin (Brian Ching 74), Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ownby 71).
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams (Freddy Adu 84), Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan - Keon Daniel, Gabriel Gomez (Michael Lahoud 75), Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan - Jorge Perlaza (Antoine Hoppenot 64), Lionard Pajoy.