Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact

Dynamo look to start season with second-straight win in playoff rematch vs. Montreal

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact
Saturday, March 15, 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
MLS LIVE - 7:30 p.m.
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 will be looking to continue their impressive start to the new campaign when they play host to the Montréal Impact in a playoff rematch from a year ago on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo,who defeated New England 4-0 in their season opener, knocked off the Impact 3-0 in last year’s Knockout Round meeting. The Impact are on the road for a second consecutive week, having started the season with a 3-2 loss at FC Dallas.

REFEREES

REFEREE: Yader Reyes. SAR (bench): Stefan McHardy; JAR (opposite): Luis Guardia; 4th: John Dearmond
MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 27.1; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 7; pens: 3

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Eric Brunner – Right ankle sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Tony Cascio – Right knee sprain; Ricardo Clark – Left knee sprain

MONTREAL IMPACT -- OUT: Nelson Rivas – R thigh injury; Maxim Tissot – R shoulder sprain; Adrian Lopez – R knee surgery; Sanna Nyassi – L Knee injury

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 7 goals … Impact 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
  • AT HOUSTON (3 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 5 goals … Impact 0 wins, 1 goals … Ties 1
  • RETURN MATCHES: 6/29: Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET; 9/6: Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. CT
  • The teams met last year in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Dynamo claiming a 3-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium behind a pair of goals from Will Bruin.
  • The Dynamo have not lost in all four lifetime meetings in all competitions at BBVA Compass Stadium, including a 1-0 regular season victory last year.
  • The Impact have won all three meetings lifetime in Montréal, including a 5-0 win in the second meeting last year, Aug. 24 at Stade Saputo.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. MTL: P6 W2 L3 D1 … Frank Klopas vs. HOU: P7 W1 L1 D5

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo started off their 2014 campaign on the right foot, easing to a 4-0 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie atop the Eastern Conference with 3 points from 1 game.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo were in the lead just 64 seconds into the game. Kofi Sarkodie sent the ball back for Will Bruin on the right, and he was left alone to settle and strike a half volley across goal for the opener.
  • Just 12 minutes later Bruin struck again. Corey Ashe picked off a pass then sent a cross to the back post for Bruin, who was wide open again to finish with a sliding effort.
  • It was 3-0 before the break. This time Bruin played provider, shrugging off two Revs defenders to set up Boniek Garcia in the box, and he made no mistake with his finish.
  • The rout was complete in stoppage time as Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth could do nothing when Ricardo Clark’s arching shot from the top of the box deflected off Omar Cummings' head and into the goal.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear had two newcomers in his team to open the new season. Tony Cascio (on loan from Colorado) manned the right side of midfield and David Horst stepped into central defense.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, Corey Ashe - Tony Cascio (Andrew Driver 57), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Boniek Garcia - Giles Barnes (Omar Cummings 78), Will Bruin (Mark Sherrod 90).

TEAM NEWS

  • The victory was the largest for the Dynamo since a 4-0 win against D.C. United last May 8 – when Will Bruin also scored a pair of goals. It was the third consecutive year Houston has won its season opener, after going five seasons without winning the first game of the year.
  • “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.”
  • Will Bruin scored multiple goals for the fifth time in his MLS career, hitting for a pair of goals in the opening 13 minutes of the win vs. New England.
  • “I know I can score goals,” Bruin said. “I never lost confidence in myself and neither did the guys in the locker room. ... There’s always going to be stuff on the outside, but you never let it come in the locker room.”
  • Bruin’s second-minute goal matched the second-earliest in club history. It was also the second time in club history a Dynamo player had hit for multiple goals in the season opener – after Brian Ching scored four goals in the club’s first game ever in 2006.
  • “We knew what he was capable of,” said Bruin’s strike mate, Giles Barnes. “Everyone knew what he was capable of in this locker room, but to come out and get two goals was good for him and you can see from the celebrations that we were all happy for him.”
  • Winger Tony Cascio was forced from the field before the hour mark after suffering a knock, and was kept out of full training in the week leading up to the Montréal game. “He twisted his knee a little bit, which is unfortunate because I thought he had played well. … We’re keeping him out of practice right now, and we’re hoping he can join us later in the week,” Kinnear said. “I play it by ear. Sometimes you get good news, and sometimes you get bad news.”
  • With both Warren Creavalle and Servando Carrasco still out with injuries, Boniek Garcia moved from his usual wide role into a central attacking position in the midfield.
  • “It’s hard to tell right now,” Kinnear said about the pair’s fitness level. “This is the first Warren’s really stepped in. Servando was fine before he got hurt. It’s good to see them out two days in a row for both of them without any problems.”