Preview: Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire

Dynamo look to regain form in tight playoff race against the Chicago Fire

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire
Sunday, September 1, 2:00 p.m. CT
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Plus - 2:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
UniMas - 2:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

The Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo meet for a third time in a match with massive implications on the Eastern Conference playoff race when they face off Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The teams are separated by just two points in the standings, and both find themselves outside the top five positions at the start of the weekend. The Fire come in off a 1-0 home win vs. Sporting KC, while the Dynamo continue their road swing following a club-record 5-0 defeat at Montréal last weekend.

REFEREES

Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Younes Marrakchi MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 25.9; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 2; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Tyler Deric – Right thumb fracture; QUESTIONABLE: Omar Cummings – Left knee MCL sprain; Left knee; Ricardo Clark – Illness

CHICAGO FIRE -- None.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Fire 4 wins, 21 goals ... Dynamo 7 wins, 25 goals ... Ties 6
  • AT CHICAGO (8 meetings): Fire 2 wins, 10 goals ... Dynamo 3 wins, 12 goals ... Ties 3
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. A late Brad Davis goal snapped a 1-1 tie to give the Dynamo the victory, April 14 at BBVA Compass Stadium; on July 27, Chicago’s Mike Magee and Houston’s Cam Weaver traded goals two minutes apart to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw in Houston.
  • In league play, the Dynamo last won in Bridgeview in 2009. The Fire won at Robertson Stadium in 2006 and 2007 in their first two trips ever to Houston – and have not won there since.
  • The teams also met a year ago in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Dynamo taking a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park on their way to an eventual appearance in MLS Cup 2012.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear v CHI: P22 W8 L6 D8 ... Frank Klopas vs. HOU: P6 W1 L1 D4

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo suffered the heaviest defeat in club history, falling 5-0 to the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo are in a tie fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact took the lead in the 35th minute. Justin Mapp fed Marco Di Vaio, who danced around a defender before rocketing a shot past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall into the upper corner.
  • The lead was doubled just two minutes later. Mapp collected the ball before lofting a cross for Felipe who took a touch, then hit an unsaveable shot to the back post.
  • It was 3-0 in the 58th minute when Hernan Bernardello hit an in-swinging corner which wasn’t cleared, and an onrushing Jeb Brovsky bundled home from almost on the goal line.
  • In the 70th minute, Patrice Bernier and Di Vaio both beat the offside trap on a Felipe through pass, and Bernier laid the ball off for Di Vaio coolly complete his brace to make the lead 4-0.
  • In stoppage time, Andrea Pisanu poked home a fifth goal on a one-on-one with Hall after put through by another piece of Felipe class.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Andrew Driver came back into the team in place of Ricardo Clark.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor (Eric Brunner 46), Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver (Jason Johnson 80), Boniek Garcia, Adam Moffat (Alexander Lopez 62), Brad Davis - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo allowed a club-record five goals in their defeat by Montréal. They had allowed four goals on three occasions since coming into the league in 2006 – including in a 4-2 loss to the Impact on June 23, 2012.
  • “We were expecting to win and to play better than we did. But then, we didn’t win so we didn’t play well,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.
  • The Dynamo had not allowed multiple goals in a game since a 2-0 loss to New York on June 30 – and had allowed as many as three goals in a game just once all season, in a 3-2 loss at FC Dallas on March 17.
  • “It was a poor performance on the field against a team of Montreal’s caliber and hence you’re going to get a lot of goals scored on you,” said goalkeeper Tally Hall. “We didn’t play well [enough] to get a win, not even to get a tie.”
  • The Dynamo were also shut out for a second consecutive match away from BBVA Compass Stadium and have now gone 190 minutes since scoring on their travels in league play.
  • Andrew Driver came back into the starting lineup for the first time in three matches, since suffering an injury early in the last meeting with Chicago on July 27.
  • The club’s newest signing, Designated Player Alexander Lopez, made his MLS debut, coming on for the final 28 minutes in central midfield.
  • On Tuesday, the Dynamo maintained their undefeated record in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 2- 1 win against Panama’s Deportive Arabe Unido at BBVA Compass Stadium. Cam Weaver scored both goals for the Dynamo, in the 22nd and 77th minutes, after Arabe Unido converted an early penalty kick.
  • “I’m just glad we won the game. I think we deserved it and I think it showed that the team that had more respect for the game won the game,” said Kinnear.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Tally Hall; Mike Chabala, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe; Warren Creavalle, Adam Moffat, Alexander Lopez (Will Bruin 77); Alex Dixon (Boniek Garcia 46), Cam Weaver, Jason Johnson (Brad Davis 67)