Preview: Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps

Dynamo venture to Canada to face Vancouver in first road test of 2014

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps
Saturday, March 29, 6:00 p.m. CT
BC Place, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston Plus - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
MLS LIVE - 6:00 p.m.
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

A pair of clubs which have gotten off to good starts meet on Saturday afternoon when Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on the Houston Dynamo at BC Place. Whitecaps FC return home off an undefeated road swing, reaching a scoreless draw at the New England Revolution last weekend. The Dynamo return to action and hit the road for the first time after making it two wins from two starts in their last match, a 1-0 home win against the Montréal Impact.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Felisha Mariscal; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 244 games; FC/gm: 25.6; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 60; pens: 55

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Eric Brunner – Right ankle sprain

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS -- OUT: Mehdi Ballouchy – L knee; Nigel Reo-Coker – concussion

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 6 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
  • AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 4 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
  • RETURN MATCHES: None.
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • In four meetings all-time between the clubs, the home team has won each. Whitecaps FC won 3-1 at BC Place in 2012, the last meeting in Vancouver; the Dynamo took a 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium last year.
  • Coaches record: Carl Robinson vs. HOU: first game … Dominic Kinnear vs. VAN: P4 W2 L2 T0

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo return to action after a week off, winning for the second time in as many matches last time out, a 1-0 win against the Montréal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie atop the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 2 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 40th minute. From a throw-in, Giles Barnes laid the ball off to Will Bruin, and after settling it, his shot deflected off defender Eric Miller’s foot and over goalkeeper Troy Perkins but under the crossbar.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made four saves on the night for his second shutout in as many matches.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that eased to a 4-0 win against the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium. Andrew Driver came into the side in place of Tony Cascio.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe - Andrew Driver (Brian Ownby 82), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Servando Carrasco 86) - Boniek Garcia - Giles Barnes (Mark Sherrod 89), Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo are the only team still not to have allowed a goal on the season, after the 1-0 win vs. Montréal, which followed the 4-0 season-opening win vs. New England.
  • “I thought the first half an hour you could say it’s the best I’ve ever seen this team play, and that’s the saying something,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I thought the goals were excellent. Our reaction when the ball turned over was really good and we were really sharp in front of goal. At halftime walking up the tunnel I was a little bit dumbfounded because we didn’t expect it. But I will say I have a great seat watching these guys play, and they were excellent.”
  • “You obviously want to go out and entertain and play some great stuff every week, but you know that’s not going to be the case,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We still created some good chances. ... At times maybe the movement off the ball wasn’t as sharp as it was last week but we still created enough chances to get a goal or possibly more tonight.”
  • Even with the off week, Will Bruin is tied for the MLS Golden Boot lead with three goals, along with Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe, who netted his third in two games over the weekend.
  • Said Brad Davis; “Last week we won 4-0, scored some great goals and had a great game. This week we turn around and have to grind one out. It’s a testament to the team knowing we can play pretty and knowing we can get results.”
  • The back-to-back shutouts have come with a new-look central defense pairing of Jermaine Taylor and newcomer David Horst, who was with Portland last season.
  • “It’s a work in progress. They’ll have a great game in the middle of the season then they may not have a great game,” Kinnear said win. “They never gave up on plays and that was the most important thing. Sometimes when you have that second effort, it definitely makes up for what happened before.”
  • Said goalkeeper Tally Hall: “It’s important to close a game out. 1-0 wins are special because there’s never a time you can let off anything. To kind of pass that test early in the season I think is going to help with momentum, help with confidence and help all over.”
  • Tony Cascio, on loan from Colorado, was unable to feature in the Montréal match after suffering a knee sprain heading into the game.
  • “It was a little tough working my way into a starting spot and then an injury setting me back a little bit,” Cascio said. “For me [having this week off] was huge. Just to give it that rest was huge. I think as soon as I get healthy, hopefully, I’ll be back in the 18 and working my way back to a starting spot again.”
  • Brad Davis was also forced off late in the Montréal game with a hamstring sprain. “It’s good because we have a couple of guys who are injured and it gives them a little bit of time to rest and recover,” Kinnear said. “For guys that are injured the bye week’s great because it gives them time to recover.”
  • During the bye week, the Dynamo played a scrimmage against the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions, suffering a 2-0 defeat. Here’s the Dynamo team: Tyler Deric; Warren Creavalle (Bryan Salazar 62), AJ Cochran, Anthony Arena, Mike Chabala^; Brian Ownby, Alexander Lopez, Servando Carrasco, Jason Johnson; Mark Sherrod, Omar Cummings