Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact

Dynamo take aim for fourth straight unbeaten, third place in Eastern Conference tonight

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact
Friday, October 4, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

The Houston Dynamo and Montréal Impact meet in a massive match for both clubs in the Eastern Conference playoff chase as the clubs clash Friday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo have righted the ship recently with a three-game unbeaten run, now sitting in fourth place in the East following their 1-1 road draw with New England last weekend. The Impact are just two points ahead of Houston, in third place in the division, now having gone three games without a win following their 2-2 draw at the Chicago Fire last weekend.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Claudio Badea; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 2; pens: 6

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Brian Ownby – Right knee sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Calen Carr – Left knee; Eric Brunner – Right ankle sprain; Andrew Driver – Right calf strain;

MONTREAL IMPACT -- OUT: Nelson Rivas – Left knee injury; Adrian Lopez – Right knee injury; Maximiliano Rodriguez – Foot fracture; Hernan Bernardello – Left ankle sprain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 6 goals … Impact 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
  • AT HOUSTON (2 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Impact 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
  • The teams are playing for the third time this season, and the Impact have won both without conceding a goal. In the last meeting, Montréal handed Houston its worst-ever defeat, a 5-0 win Aug. 24 at Stade Saputo behind two goals from Marco Di Vaio. First-half goals from Felipe and Di Vaio led the Impact to a 2-0 win June 19 at Stade Saputo.
  • The Impact have won all three meetings all-time at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo have won one of the two meetings lifetime in Houston, with one draw.
  • Coaches record: Marco Schallibaum vs. HOU: P2 W2 L0 T0 … Dominic Kinnear vs. MTL: P5 W1 L3 T1

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo made it three games in a row without loss, coming back for a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 44 points from 30 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead after 64 minutes. After the ball was funneled to Saer Sene on the right side of the penalty area, he collected a pass and then smashed home the opener with a rasping, sharp-angle drive.
  • But the Dynamo were even 12 minutes later. Boniek Garcia collected a scuffed clearance and then slotted a wonderfully weighted ball to Will Bruin near the penalty spot, and he neatly thumped home a drive off the underside of the crossbar.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to the team that rolled to a 5-1 win against Chivas USA at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Boniek Garcia, Warren Creavalle (Cam Weaver 73), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 89) - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo have taken seven of a possible nine points from their last three matches, since a four-game winless run. They now start a three-game homestand at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • “It’s all about the result. You could come in and play terrible and get a win, and it’s a beautiful win. So in the end, when you’re coming down here with the standings the way they are, it’s all about results. It’s not about managing. You’ve just got to play your hardest and if you get your chances, take advantage of them,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We have got four games left. They’re all against conference opponents, as I think most of the teams do. I think parity is definitely showing its face to the utmost this year and it’s probably going to come down to the last weekend.”
  • Will Bruin scored his second goal in as many games, his first goal since Aug. 17. He also has an assist in the two-game stretch.
  • Boniek García set up the Dynamo goal; he has two goals and an assist in the last three games, his first points since Aug. 3 when he had two assists vs. Columbus.
  • “Boniek and I made eye contact when he picked the ball up and he gave me a great ball, and I just turned and hit it. This time it went on the right side of the post as opposed to a few weeks ago. Hopefully we can build on it enough with our home games coming up,” Bruin said.
  • A late tactical shift gave the Dynamo a share of the points, going with three in the back, dropping Giles Barnes into the midfield and putting Cam Weaver up top alongside Bruin.
  • “We had to go a little bit in search of [the game-tying goal], because if you want to get something you have to go look for it,” said Kinnear. “At times during the game we were outnumbered and you’re just taking a chance putting another guy in a goal-scoring position. It’s a risk-reward move and luckily this time it rewarded us.”
  • Said Bruin: “I thought when Cam came in he brought a spark and was able to challenge balls in the air and make it tough for the center back and create some room in the middle. The versatility we have on the fly is huge. It certainly helps us late in games.”
  • Kinnear was able to keep his team the same for back-to-back league games, after having made seven changes for the CONCACAF Champions League match against Guatemalan side Heredia.
  • “A lot of changes. Obviously, some guys pulled duty in every single game… we have a couple injuries right now that maybe we could have moved some guys in and out on Wednesday, but it wasn’t to be the case, so big pat in the back to some of those guys that played in all three games,” said Kinnear.