Preview: Dynamo vs. Vancouver

Houston looking to extend home unbeaten streak against undefeated Whitecaps

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Saturday, March 23, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium
Whitecaps lead 2-1 all-time

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston - 7 p.m.
Yahoo! 1560 AM - 7 p.m.
La Ranchera 850 - 7 p.m.

COMCAST CHANNEL GUIDE
Comcast: 39 | 639 HD
En Touch: 73 | 473 HD
Coastal Link: 31 | 131 HD
Phonoscope: 35
Consolidated: 42 | 723 HD

PREVIEW
The Houston Dynamo put their long home unbeaten streak on the line with a difficult test as they take on Vancouver
Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are coming a late 3-2 Rivalry Week loss
last weekend at FC Dallas, following an opening weekend home opener win. Whitecaps FC return to action after a week
off, their last match a second win in two starts, a 2-1 home win against the Columbus Crew. 

REFEREE 
REF: Matthew Foerster. SAR (bench): Paul Scott; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Hilario Grajeda - MLS Career: 7 games; FC/gm: 24.9; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 0; pens: 3.

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Brad Davis (USA; vs. Costa Rica); Boniek García (Honduras; vs. Mexico); Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica; vs. Panama) … VAN: Kenny Miller (Scotland; vs. Wales)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 5 goals … Ties 0
  • AT HOUSTON (1 meeting): Dynamo 1 win, 3 goals … Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
  • LAST YEAR (MLS):
  • 6/10: VAN 3, HOU 1 (Mattocks 4, 66; Harvey 88 -- Kandji 83)
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Whitecaps FC won 3-1 in the only meeting last season, June 10 at BC Place, their second consecutive victory
  • against the Dynamo, both coming at home.
  • The Dynamo have won the only meeting between the teams in Houston, the first encounter ever, April 10, 2011
  • at Robertson Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. VAN: P3 W1 L2 D0… Martin Rennie vs. HOU: P1 W1 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo return home after dropping their first match of the young season, FC Dallas getting a late goal for a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon in Frisco.

LAST MATCH

  • FC Dallas took the lead in the 34th minute. Michel floated in a free kick from 40 yards that found the head of Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell. His attempted clearance came off the back of FCD’s George John, bounding past Tally Hall and into the corner of the net.
  • Dallas doubled their advantage just a minute later when David Ferreira’s corner was blasted home by Andrew Jacobson for his first goal of the season.
  • The Dynamo pulled a goal back in the 79th minute. Kofi Sarkodie took the ball from Michel in the right corner and slipped the ball across the box to Andrew Driver, who slammed a left-footed drive off the crossbar and off the turf into the goal.
  • The visitors then tied the score in the 83rd minute as FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernández spilled a Cam Weaver cross into the path of Brad Davis, who easily curled the rebound into the empty net.
  • But the Texas Derby had one final twist as Kenny Cooper won “El Capitán” in the 90th minute. Michel’s cross looped over defender Je-Vaughn Watson and while Cooper missed a header, he made no mistake when the ball fell into his path, prodding home on the second chance.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that opened the season with a 2-0 victory against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie (Cam Weaver 81), Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat (Andrew Driver 69), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Brian Ching 49).

TEAM NEWS

  • Known more for scoring goals from set pieces, the Dynamo conceded two goals to FC Dallas from standard situations. A season ago, the Dynamo allowed just five goals from deadball situations, the best record in MLS.
  • “We just didn’t take care of the set pieces side of it. They delivered some good balls and attacked it well and got some good bounces,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “So in the second half we changed it up a little bit and got back in the game, but that last little play there was enough to give Dallas the win.”
  • Said center back Bobby Boswell: “I just think we were pushing it. We had spells in the first half when we were good but gave up two goals on set pieces, which is uncharacteristic of this team. Credit to our guys, we did change our formations a bit and our personnel, and we were really pushing hard.”
  • Brad Davis scored his first league goal of the season, but it was his second goal this season, having also scored in the CONCACAF Champions League series with Mexico’s Santos Laguna.
  • Andrew Driver made his MLS debut, coming on for Adam Moffat, and scored his first goal in the league just 10 minutes after entering the match.
  • "I think Andrew's done a great job of acclimatizing himself already, he's come on and given us great minutes to this point and I think we're all excited to see Omar [Cummings],” said Brian Ching. “We know he's a proven commodity in this league, he's a guy that's gotten along well with us in preseason. We know he's a little frustrated that he got injured in preseason so we know he's got that drive to get out there and hopefully continue the success that he's had so far in the league."
  • Over the last two matches (including the CCL match), the Dynamo have conceded six goals. “Overall, I think it’s just uncharacteristic,” said Boswell. “It’s not good and it’s not like it’s a lot of stuff from the run of play. It's set pieces, penalties, but it’s early on and we’ll sort it out.”
  • Said Kinnear: “There are good moments and bad moments whether it’s the first game or second or 28th game. You’ve just got to try and keep confidence in yourself and each other and that’s what makes for a good team.”
  • The Dynamo come into the game with their league home undefeated streak at 26 games after the seasonopening victory vs. D.C. United, three games shy of the all-time record set by Real Salt Lake (6/6/09 – 5/14/11).
  • The Dynamo will see first-choice performers away on national team duty, with Davis called in by the USA. Jermaine Taylor will join Jamaica, and Boniek García is with Honduras.
  • “It's going to be a difficult game, we're missing some of our key guys, Jermaine and Boniek, and Will going down with an injury – but having said that this team's always gotten on with call-ups and things in the past. This is a chance for these guys to step in and compete for starting spots,” said Brian Ching. “Dom brought them in to play, not to sit on the bench and be back-ups.”