Preview: Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution

Dynamo sit two points ahead of New England in Eastern Conference standings

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution
Saturday, July 13, 6:30 p.m. CT
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

BROADCAST INFORMATION
KPRC Local 2 - 6:30 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS (6:00 p.m. pregame)
Mega TV - 6:30 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS (6:00 p.m. pregame)
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

A pair of clubs currently sitting on either side of the Eastern Conference playoff qualification line meet when the New England Revolution take on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The teams are separated by just two points, with the Dynamo in fifth place in the East. The Revolution started a homestand last weekend with a 2-0 home win against San Jose, while the Dynamo snapped a long winless and goalless drought with a 1-0 home victory against Philadelphia Union.

REFEREES

Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Scott Kachmarik; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau MLS Career: 20 games; FC/gm: 23.3; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 8; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY THE METHODIST HOSPITAL SYSTEM

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Calen Carr – left knee; Anthony Arena – right ankle sprain;  Brad Davis – left hamstring strain

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: Kevin Alston -- Disabled List/illness; Juan Agudelo -- right knee sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Chris Tierney -- left knee irritation

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Revolution 7 wins, 20 goals ... Dynamo 3 wins, 14 goals ... Ties 5
  • AT NEW ENGLAND (7 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 11 goals ... Dynamo 1 win, 9 goals ... Ties 4
  • FUTURE MATCH: 9/28: New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo scored goals to lead New England to a 2-0 victory on May 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Revolution have won on five of their last seven visits to Houston. The last two meetings at Gillette Stadium have ended in draws.
  • The teams have played for three cups. They met in back-to-back MLS Cup Finals in 2006 and 2007, the Dynamo winning on both occasions (on penalty kicks in MLS Cup 2006; 2-1 in MLS Cup 2007). They also met in the 2008 SuperLiga final (won by New England on penalties).
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P20 W6 L7 D7 ... Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P3 W1 L1 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo put an end to their winless streak after seven league games, defeating Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points from 17 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 59th minute. Giles Barnes raced forward from midfield into the box, before sending the ball wide to Jermaine Taylor. He then sent a driven cross into the center of the box where Ricardo Clark elevated to head it inside the far post.
  • The home side put the game away with a second two minutes from time. Thierry Henry collected a pass in the middle of the field and laid it off for Jonny Steele on the left side of the penalty area, and he unleashed a venomous shot that soared into the far top corner.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Eric Brunner, Boniek Garcia and Omar Cummings came into the team in place of the suspended Kofi Sarkodie and with Corey Ashe and Will Bruin on international duty.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Warren Creavalle, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark, Andrew Driver (Alex Dixon 83) - Giles Barnes (Jason Johnson 76), Omar Cummings (Cam Weaver 69).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo won in league play for the first time since May 8, putting an end to their winless run after seven games, tied for the second-longest stretch without a victory in club history.
  • “It was a great three points,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We made it a little bit harder than we could have. We created a lot of chances. I thought we were good for a goal tonight. One was enough. First win for a while. The guys are happy and so am I.”
  • The Dynamo scored their first goal since June 1 in the victory against Philadelphia, snapping their goalless streak at 388 minutes. It was the second-longest stretch in MLS this season without a goal, behind New England’s stretch of 394 minutes from March 9-April 20.
  • It was also the longest streak without a goal in club history, besting the previous mark of 275 minutes.
  • “We know what's been going on,” Kinnear said. “We have been peppered with questions over the last couple weeks about not winning. This is a proud group, and we get a little annoyed by it ... Any time you win whether it is a great win or the team's played poorly and you get a little lucky, you walk off the field with a little enjoyment out of it.”
  • Ricardo Clark scored his second goal of the season, his first since the opening game of the season, when he became the first Dynamo player to score a goal in 2013 in a 2-0 win vs. D.C. United.
  • Following a four-match absence to international duty where he then suffered an injury, Boniek García returned to the Dynamo lineup and played the full 90 minutes.
  • “I felt it physically, but from a footballing standpoint I think I really brought something to the game. Without being able to be in the team it’s hard to grab a rhythm,” García said. “Other than three balls I lost I feel really good about my performance and am happy to get back to that level.”
  • There was a rebuilt backline for the Dynamo. Eric Brunner made his first appearance since June 1, when he left injured after just 20 minutes, coming into central defense. Jermaine Taylor moved to left back with Corey Ashe on international duty, while Warren Creavalle made his first start in the back four following four consecutive starts in the midfield, coming at right back for the suspended Kofi Sarkodie.
  • “I’ve seen a lot of players be successful with being able to play different positions,” Ricardo Clark said of Creavalle. “If you look at other young players that have come through, Geoff Cameron showed the same qualities. It’s not that he’s the next Geoff Cameron, but it’s always a plus when a player’s able to be versatile and bring the same quality at every position he’s in.”
  • Omar Cummings made his first start of the season following offseason knee surgery, playing 69 minutes following three consecutive appearances off the substitutes’ bench.
  • “You look at the history of the Houston Dynamo, and it's a consistent theme that when people get chances, they step up and man up and put on a good performance,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “Tonight was no different. The guys that aren't typically starters showed they are fighting for position and making an argument for themselves.”