Preview: Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew

Dynamo have opportunity to climb Eastern Conference standings with a result in Columbus

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire
Wednesday, September 4, 6:30 p.m. CT
Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Mega TV - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame) 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 Columbus Crew begin a new era at midweek when they play host to the Houston Dynamo at Crew Stadium. With Brian Bliss now in charge of the bench coaching duties, the Crew are eight points out of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference following their 1-0 home win to Seattle at the weekend. The Dynamo are also in need of points, tied for fifth place in the division and the final postseason spot, after their 1-1 draw at Chicago to start their road swing.

REFEREES

Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Chris Penso MLS Career: 154 games; FC/gm: 24.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 32; pens: 45

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

COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: Eddie Gaven – Left ACL surgery; Glauber – Left ACL surgery; Andy Gruenebaum – Left shoulder weakness; Matias Sanchez – Left calf strain; QUESTIONABLE: Aaron Schoenfeld – Right shoulder sprain; UNAVAILABLE: Federico Higuain (suspension); Danny O’Rourke (suspension)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 21 goals ... Dynamo 3 wins, 19 goals ... Ties 9
  • AT COLUMBUS (8 meetings): Crew 3 wins, 13 goals ... Dynamo 1 win, 9 goals ... Ties 4
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Brad Davis, Will Bruin and Cam Weaver all scored for the Dynamo in a 3-1 win Aug. 3 at BBVA Compass Stadium; the teams played to a 1-1 draw June 1 in Houston as the Dynamo’s Warren Creavalle and Federico Higuain of Columbus traded goals.
  • The Dynamo win snapped a nine-game Crew unbeaten streak against the Dynamo. Houston had last defeated the Crew on Aug. 2, 2008; the teams had played to four consecutive draws.
  • It also snapped a four-game winless streak at home for the Dynamo vs. the Crew. Columbus had taken points from six of seven visits there all-time; the Dynamo’s only previous home win in the series came in 2008.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. CLB: P20 W5 L6 T9 ... Brian Bliss vs. HOU: first game

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo came back for a point on the second game of their road swing, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Dynamo are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 25 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Fire were handed the lead in the 37th minute when Mike Magee sent a service that found its way past Jeff Larentowicz and deflected off Houston center back Bobby Boswell's head past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
  • But the Dynamo were able to level terms as the clock turned over to 90 minutes. Adam Moffat took a clever backheel from Corey Ashe on the left side of the area and ripped a laser into the far upper corner for the equalizer.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that fell 5-0 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Eric Brunner came into the back four for Corey Ashe, and Warren Creavalle started in midfield in place of Andrew Driver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Eric Brunner (Corey Ashe 43), Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Adam Moffat - Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle (Cam Weaver 66), Brad Davis - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes (Andrew Driver 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • The game was the second on a three-game road trip for the Dynamo, which concludes in Columbus. The Dynamo have taken one of a possible six points on the trip, stopping a two-game losing run on the road with the draw.
  • “It’s a busy week for us with our Saturday-Wednesday-Sunday coming up, and a big game in Columbus on that Wednesday ... so we want to remain consistent,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We want to drive home and reinforce why we’ve been successful and remind ourselves what is not working for us. If we can put those all together, get the bad out of the way, it makes for a complete performance.”
  • Adam Moffat scored his third goal of the season, all since July 13, when he scored twice from well outside the penalty area in a win vs. New England.
  • “I feel like when Adam gets that ball that’s a goal,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “I’ve taken enough shots from him in training that I don’t envy any goalkeeper on the receiving end of that shot.”
  • Ashe collected his second assist of the season, both coming within the last six matches.
  • “[The ball] was well struck by [Moffat]. I was trying to push the pace towards the end since we were down a goal and try to capitalize on the fact that some of their guys weren’t being honest defensively so I wanted to take advantage of that and fortunately I saw Moffat at the last second and rolled it back to him and he did the rest,” Ashe said.
  • Hall was credited with seven saves, allowing one goal in the game for the sixth time in the last seven matches. The Crew took a season-high 24 total attempts at goal.
  • “They put us under pressure. They scored a goal on a set piece, and that’s something we need to work on and get tighter. We’ve allowed too many goals this year on set pieces,” said Brad Davis. “We need a little fire lit under us, came in here at halftime and had a good chat, and came out with the right attitude. I felt that the second half showed a team that is fighting.”
  • For the first time in 23 league appearances this season, Ashe came off the substitutes’ bench, with Eric Brunner starting in central defense and Jermaine Taylor moving to left back. But there was a change before halftime when Brunner suffered an ankle injury.
  • Ricardo Clark missed his second consecutive match to injury, with Warren Creavalle moving into a central midfield role.