Preview: Dynamo at Toronto FC

Houston looking for first road win of 2013 Saturday at BMO Field

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC
Saturday, April 20, 3 p.m. CT
BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

BROADCAST INFORMATION
KPRC Local 2 - 3 p.m. (2:30 pregame)
Yahoo! 1560 AM - 3 p.m. (2:30 pregame)
La Ranchera 850 - 3 p.m. (2:30 pregame)

PREVIEW
Toronto FC return to BMO Field for a key Eastern Conference match when they play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon. TFC have played to three consecutive draws, coming off a late 1-1 result at Philadelphia Union last weekend. The Dynamo made history in their last match, extending their home undefeated streak to an MLS record with a 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire.

REFEREES 
Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau MLS Career: 10 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 2.5; R: 0; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY THE METHODIST HOSPITAL SYSTEM

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Calen Carr – Left knee; Tyler Deric - Left ankle sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Boniek Garcia – Left Achilles tendonitis

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Toronto FC 3 wins, 13 goals ... Dynamo 4 wins, 19 goals ... Ties 6 AT TORONTO (6 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 6 goals ... Dynamo 1 win, 6 goals ... Ties 3
  • RETURN MATCH: 6/22: Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m. CT
  • LAST YEAR (MLS):
  • 6/20: HOU 3, TOR 3 (Boswell 20; Bruin 73, 90 – J. Hall 13; Koevermans 22, 45) 7/28: TOR 0, HOU 2 (Carr 45; Ching 86)
  • 8/25: HOU 1, TOR 1 (Bruin 21 – Dunfield 85)
  • The Dynamo have a four-game undefeated streak alive vs. Toronto FC, winning once with a pair of draws – both at BBVA Compass Stadium – a season ago.
  • The Dynamo win at BMO Field last July 28, a 2-0 victory, was the club’s first ever on the shores of Lake Ontario. TFC had won two of the first five meetings there, with three draws.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. HOU: first game ... Dominic Kinnear v TOR: P13 W4 L3 D6

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo saw their home undefeated streak reach record proportions, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 6 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead in the 26th minute. Brad Davis turned Wells Thompson inside-out to get space and swing in a perfect cross from the left flank, and Will Bruin made no mistake, heading his shot inside the far post out of Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s reach.
  • But the Fire were level three minutes later. Houston was unable to clear a long throw-in and Daniel Paladini latched onto the ball, laying it past Corey Ashe to Chris Rolfe, who blasted a first-time shot to the near corner.
  • The Dynamo hit for the winner in the 81st minute. Davis took a Kofi Sarkodie pass on the right flank and clipped in a cross that sailed through the box untouched before nestling in the far-side netting.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Will Bruin came back into the team, in place of Cam Weaver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Ricardo Clark - Andrew Driver (Warren Creavalle 71), Adam Moffat, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 86), Will Bruin (Brian Ching 75).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo set the all-time MLS record for consecutive home games without a loss in all competitions, their streak of 35 games surpassing the mark set by Real Salt Lake from 2009-11.
  • The Dynamo have not lost a competitive home game since June 18, 2011, and also tied Real Salt Lake’s mark of 29 consecutive regular season home games without defeat, set during the same streak from 2009-11.
  • “It’s about consistency. If you look back at when we came here in 2006, our record at home has been pretty remarkable. To go unbeaten for this amount of time is also very impressive,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “People say ‘What is the secret?’ and I always say that we just have a good team. I think we have always had a good team, have always played well at home but if you don’t have a good team, you don’t have that record.”
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in North American professional sports, the 1995-96 NBA Chicago Bulls hold the record with 44 undefeated games at home between March 30, 1995 and April 4, 1996.
  • The Dynamo also have the third-longest unbeaten run in league games to open a new facility at 21 games, behind the NBA’s Washington Capitols (27, at Uline Arena) and the WNBA’s LA Sparks (22, Staples Center).
  • For the ninth time in his MLS career, Brad Davis scored a goal and added an assist in the same game, netting the game-winning in the Dynamo’s victory vs. Chicago on Sunday after setting up the opening goal.
  • Returning to action after missing the Portland match with a hamstring injury, Will Bruin scored his second goal of the season, and his second in as many games.
  • “[Brad Davis] is going to put the ball in dangerous spots no matter where it is. He had the ball out wide and turned that guy inside-out, we made eye contact and it’s one of those things where I know he is going to put the ball on my head every time,” said Bruin.
  • With Boniek García still sidelined with left Achilles tendonitis, Andrew Driver again filled the wide right position in midfield, providing the work along the flanks along with Davis on the opposite side.
  • “[Kinnear] all week has made a point that they play fairly narrow and that we can our wide guys on the ball quite a lot,” Driver (above) said. “It’s something we utilized today to make the pitch as big as possible to open them up.” Said Kinnear: “Brad’s play on the first goal was excellent. Andrew started off the game very well, getting behind their left back and causing them problems. Even if you don’t get goals out of it, you are still softening up the defense a bit. We said before the game, if [Will Bruin and Giles Barnes] could hold the ball up and find our wide guys then we thought it would cause them problems.”
  • The Dynamo are 4-0-0 at home this season, but have lost both of their road starts. “We know we need to get more points on the road this year than we did last year,” said Bobby Boswell. “In 2011 we didn’t win until our last two road games of the year. You obviously want to win, you want to get three points, but ties aren’t exactly losses. We’ve got to do a little bit better and we know that.”