Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers

Dynamo look to get back on track with a home win against the Timbers

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers
Sunday, April 27, 2:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Houston Plus - 2:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
UniMas - 2:00 p.m.
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 2:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 2:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW

The Houston Dynamo return home to face the Portland Timbers in a meeting of a pair of clubs desperately seeking victories when the clubs clash Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their winless streak hit five games and their goalless drought pass five hours, following a 4-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls at midweek. The Timbers are still looking for their first victory of 2014 after seven matches, coming off a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake.

REFEREE: David Gantar. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 25 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 9; pens: 1

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Eric Brunner – Right ankle surgery; Ricardo Clark – Concussion

PORTLAND TIMBERS -- OUT: Rodney Wallace – L ACL surgery; QUESTIONABLE: Steve Zakuani – hamstring

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Dynamo 2 wins, 4 goals … Timbers 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
  • AT HOUSTON (2 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 2 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
  • RETURN MATCHES: None.
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Timbers took a 2-0 win last April 6 at home in the only meeting between the two teams, their first win ever against the Dynamo.
  • Houston had won two of the first three meetings all-time, with a draw coming in the first game at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2012.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. POR: P4 W2 L1 D1 … Caleb Porter vs. HOU: P1 W1 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo had their winless and scoreless streaks extended, falling 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 7 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo lost their third consecutive game and saw their winless streak stretched to five matches, since opening the campaign with back-to-back victories. The loss in New York completed a three-game road swing (0-2-1).
  • “We have to go back to basics, work hard, defend well and be dangerous in front of the goal,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “That's always the simple plan. We just weren't sharp in front of the goal and weren't sharp defending. Those are two areas that definitely let us down tonight. … It just wasn’t a good night for us.”
  • The Dynamo have now gone 319 minutes without scoring a goal, the longest such streak in MLS this season, and the second-longest in the club’s history. The Dynamo went 388 minutes without scoring from June 1 to July 6 of last year; their last goal came April 5 in the 4-1 home loss to FC Dallas.
  • “We had chances,” Kinnear said. “Teams are not going to jump out of the way and let us score. It’s difficult to do. Sometimes they come in bunches like they were at the beginning of the season, sometimes they’re hard to come by. We had [enough] chances tonight that I think we were good for a goal.”
  • It was the second time in the last three meetings the Red Bulls have scored four goals against the Dynamo. The 4-0 result matches the second-most goals allowed in a game in Dynamo club history – the Dynamo also lost 4-1 to New York last Sept. 8. (The club record came in a 5-0 loss to Montréal last Aug. 24).
  • “Defensively if we shore up and do a good job it makes it easier for everyone else on the field,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “It’s too easy to look forward and say I wish you guys would’ve scored five goals, of course, but you can’t just give away goals. It makes it too easy for another team to sit in and control the game.”
  • With Kofi Sarkodie suspended, Warren Creavalle made his first start of the season, at right back. Creavalle had come on as a substitute in each of the three previous games.
  • There was an injury concern coming out of the Red Bulls match after Ricardo Clark was forced from the field in the 63rd minute following a collision with hat trick man Wright-Phillips.
  • “Winning fixes everything,” Hall said. “It’s important to go home, Portland on Sunday, because if you get a win all the feelings we have right now evaporate instantly. Then you go build off that so the game against Portland at home is an opportunity that we can’t let slip away.”
  • Said striker Giles Barnes: “I'm still trying to figure out what happened. We came out flying and we thought we had them. Then once they scored a goal that kind of swung the pendulum their way. But we have confidence in what we're doing. The season's a marathon, not a sprint. Judge us at the end of the year.''