Preview: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake

Dynamo could jump into second place in Eastern Conference with a win in Utah

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake
Saturday, August 10, 8:30 p.m. CT
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Plus - 8:30 p.m. (8:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Mega TV - 8:30 p.m. (8:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 8:30 p.m. (8:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 8:30 p.m. (8:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo meet in a crucial interconference match for both clubs on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Still holders of the league’s best overall record, RSL haven’t won in three league games, returning home off a 2-2 draw at the Colorado Rapids last weekend – but advanced to the U.S. Open Cup final at midweek. The Dynamo are still hanging on to fifth place in the Eastern Conference after a four-game unbeaten run, coming off a 3-1 home win against Columbus.

REFEREES

Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Adam Wienckowski; 4th: Mark Kadlecik MLS Career: 15 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 4; pens: 5

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- Omar Cummings – Left knee MCL sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Calen Carr – Left knee; Andrew Driver &ndash Right Achilles tendonitis; Brian Ching – Left adductor strain; Alex Dixon – Left hamstring strain

REAL SALT LAKE -- OUT: Rich Balchan – Left shoulder surgery; John Stertzer – Right shoulder surgery; Chris Schuler – Left foot pain; Kwame Watson-Siriboe – Right knee ACL; Josh Saunders – Left knee ACL; PROBABLE: Javier Morales – Right adductor strain; Carlos Salcedo – gall bladder removal

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Real 3 wins, 22 goals … Dynamo 9 wins, 26 goals … Ties 5
  • AT SALT LAKE (8 meetings): Real 3 wins, 8 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 4
  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • Real last defeated Houston on May 13, 2010, a 3-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Dynamo have won two of three meetings since, including a 1-0 win last Sept. 6 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • RSL has taken points from their last four home games vs. Houston, with three draws in that time.
  • RSL is 0-8-1 lifetime in Houston. Earlier this year, Real won for the first time ever in the state of Texas after 22 games in a 3-0 victory against FC Dallas on July 13.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo stretched their undefeated run to four matches, taking a 3-1 win against the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points from 21 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo were on top after just 10 minutes. Giles Barnes was brought down from behind by Columbus center back after bursting into the box, and referee Kevin Stott pointed to the spot. Brad Davis converted the penalty for the opener past goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
  • It was 2-0 in the 31st minute. After Boniek Garcia fleeced a defender at midfield, he found Will Bruin making a run in the box. After taking two touches, Bruin struck from the top of the box and hit the back of the net behind Lampson.
  • The Crew were given a lifeline in the 75th minute. As Ryan Finley received a pass in the center of the box, Dynamo fullback Kofi Sarkodie knocked it away but succeeded only in stabbing it into his own goal.
  • But the home side sealed the victory in the 85th minute, when Cam Weaver took a layoff from Bruin just outside the box and hammered a rocket with the outside of his foot that sailed into the corner.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at BBVA Compass Stadium. Brad Davis and Will Bruin came into the side in place of Andrew and Cam Weaver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark (Warren Creavalle 51) - Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes (Cam Weaver 81), Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 78) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • Will Bruin returned to the Dynamo lineup after missing three matches while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with the USA, and netted his first goal since May 8.
  • “Whenever you go a while without scoring, it plays with your head,” Bruin said. “To sit on the bench over there at the Gold Cup kind of made me hungry to get back on the field and play, and I think it’s going to be a good second half of the season.”
  • Said Kinnear: “I think it’s an unwritten rule with this that if a guy goes away and plays with the national team, he doesn’t lose his place in the team. You could tell he was looking to do something tonight and that’s good to see.”
  • After scoring his first goal since May 28, 2011 the week before, Cam Weaver hit for a goal for a second consecutive week.
  • Brad Davis converted a penalty kick for his first goal since May 25, making his first start since June 22 because of national team duty and injury.
  • Boniek Garcia collected the first two-assist game of his MLS career, making a fourth consecutive start after returning from injury and national team duty.
  • For the first match since the opening game of the season, Andrew Driver did not feature for the Dynamo, after he was forced off after just 15 minutes in the Chicago match with a right Achilles injury.
  • “We were hoping as we got him out of the game against Chicago that we caught it in enough time to where he could be available. That’s not to be the case,” Kinnear said. “You look at it and he’s started 17 games. To not have him on the field at all is going to be really strange.”
  • After going four consecutive home matches without a win from April 28-June 22, the Dynamo have won two of their last three at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • “Dom’s job’s been really difficult this year. I think he’s had a chance to pick from the entire group of guys only four or five times this year,” Davis said. “We have 14 games left and we’re sitting tied for fifth. We’re in an all right position but we can’t say that for long. We need to start getting things going and getting our points.”