Preview: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

Dynamo can clinch a playoff spot with a win against D.C. United

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United
Sunday, October 27, 12:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
NBC - 12:30 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 12:30 p.m. (12:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 12:30 p.m. (12:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

D.C. United will be aiming to avoid a history-making campaign when they face a Houston Dynamo side fighting for its playoff life as the Eastern Conference clubs meet Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. United need a win to ensure they will not end a season with the fewest victories in MLS history, coming off a 1-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City last week. The Dynamo need a victory if they are to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs after back-to-back MLS Cup Final appearances, after their 3-0 home loss to New York last weekend.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Ted Unkel MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 24.0; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 12; pens: 9

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Brian Ownby – Right knee sprain

D.C. United -- OUT: OUT: Dejan Jakovic – Grade 2 left adductor strain; John Thorrington – Grade 2 left gastroc strain; Ethan White – Grade 2 left calf strain; QUESTIONABLE: Nick DeLeon – Right hip flexor strain; SUSPENDED: Perry Kitchen (yellow card accumulation)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (17 meetings): United 4 wins, 15 goals ... Dynamo 11 wins, 33 goals ... Ties 2
  • AT RFK STADIUM (8 meetings): United 4 wins, 11 goals ... Dynamo 3 wins, 14 goals ... Ties 1
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and the Dynamo have won the first two. An own goal and a goal from Warren Creavalle in the final 10 minutes gave the Dynamo a 2-0 win to open the season, March 2 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Will Bruin scored twice as the Dynamo rolled to a 4-0 win May 8 in Houston, maintaining their all-time home unbeaten record vs. United.
  • United’s 3-2 home win in the first meeting a season ago was their first against Houston at home since 2009. The Dynamo have never lost to D.C. United in Houston, winning nine of 10 meetings there all-time in league and cup play (with one draw).
  • The teams met in the Eastern Conference Championship a year ago, the Dynamo claiming a 3-1 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium in the first leg, before the teams reached a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium to send Houston to MLS Cup 2012.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. HOU: P8 W1 L6 D1 ... Dominic Kinnear vs. DC: P22 W12 L6 D4

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo saw their undefeated streak come to a crashing halt after five matches, falling 3-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 48 points from 33 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Red Bulls took the lead after eight seconds, the fastest goal from the opening kickoff in MLS history. From the opening kick, Dax McCarty lobbed a ball over the top to Tim Cahill, who brought it down and laced a shot past Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall from just outside the area.
  • New York scored a second in the 65th minute after Houston failed to clear a corner kick. Thierry Henry’s service pinged around the area until Ibrahim Sekagya headed past a stranded Hall from the right side of the goal area.
  • Ten minutes later second-half substitute Bradley Wright-Phillips sealed the result with some help from another failed clearance. Jermaine Taylor’s attempted blast into safety bounced off the head of an unsuspecting Corey Ashe and back into the penalty area, leaving Wright-Phillips a simple tap-in.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jermaine Taylor and Boniek Garcia came back into the team from national team duty, in place of Eric Brunner and Andrew Driver.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle (Omar Cummings 66), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 84) - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Cam Weaver 84).

TEAM NEWS

  • The defeat was their second this season by New York at BBVA Compass Stadium, having allowed seven goals in the two games.
  • “I don’t think the first goal killed us for the rest of the game; obviously it was the game winner,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We had our moments, we had our chances to score some goals. It’s just a point of getting too desperate and you need to keep the same mindset.”
  • Said center back Bobby Boswell: “I think the early goal killed us. I’ve said it time and time again, if you give up the first goal you hurt yourself and if you score the first goal you help yourself. The goal that quickly to start the game changes the dynamic of the game.”
  • Since having their record home undefeated streak put to an end in May, the Dynamo have recorded a 5-4-3 in their last 12 home matches.
  • “We know we let one slip away here, but the only thing I can say is we still have a fighting chance. I know this for a fact that this team is pretty good with our backs against the wall,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “I’d like to stop putting our backs against the wall because you’re always worried about the what-ifs.”
  • With a victory vs. D.C. United, the Dynamo will return to the postseason thanks to the Montreal Impact's loss to Toronto FC. The Dynamo's seeding would still rely on the results from New England and Chicago.
  • “All I can say is we’re going to be in a very similar situation as we were last year,” Boswell said. “I thought we kind of learned our lesson about being the last seed or a lower seed.”
  • The Dynamo were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since failing to score in three games from June 19-30.
  • The Dynamo did uncork 20 attempts at goal in the New York match, equaling their season-high also set May 18 vs. New England and July 6 vs. Philadelphia.
  • “We have a good team, obviously this game today doesn’t exactly back up my statement with balloons and streamers, but I think we have a very good team,” said Kinnear. “I have confidence that we’re going to go to D.C and play and that we’re going to go to Panama [in the CONCACAF Champions League] and play well.”
  • On Thursday, the Dynamo concluded their CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a 1-0 loss to Arabe Unido in Panama. With the defeat, the Dynamo were knocked out of the competition after the group stage.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Tyler Deric; Kofi Sarkodie (Giles Barnes 74), Bobby Boswell, Eric Brunner, Mike Chabala; Jason Johnson (Warren Creavalle 76), Servando Carrasco, Alexander López, Andrew Driver; Omar Cummings (Will Bruin 70), Cam Weaver