Preview: Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew

Dynamo hit the road against Columbus with a chance to get back in the playoff spots

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew
Saturday, August 23, 6:30 p.m. CT
Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

BROADCAST INFORMATION
CSN Plus - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Telemundo Houston - 11:00 p.m. (tape delay) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 6:30 p.m. (6:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
It's a crucial match in the Eastern Conference playoff chase as the Columbus Crew play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew come into the game holding down fourth place in the division, following their most impressive performance of the season in a 4-1 win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday. The Dynamo find themselves in eighth place in the East - but just three points out of the final playoff position - coming off a 2-0 home win against Philadelphia Union last week.

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Kyle Atkins; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 27.2; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 8; pens: 18

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Thursday, August 21)

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Tony Cascio – Right knee surgery; Mark Sherrod – Left knee ACL tear;

COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: Agustin Viana – R calf strain; Bernardo Anor – L hamstring strain; Matt Wiet – post L ACL reconstruction; Josh Williams – post R first rib resection; Kingsley “Fifi” Baiden – post L hip labral repair; QUESTIONABLE: Hector Jimenez – R MCL sprain;

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Crew 5 wins, 23 goals | Dynamo 4 wins, 20 goals | Ties 9
  • AT COLUMBUS (8 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 15 goals | Dynamo 1 win, 9 goals | Ties 4
  • FUTURE MATCH: 9/13: Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. CT
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Will Bruin scored the game's only goal early in the second half for a Dynamo victory, May 7 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Crew have not lost to the Dynamo in Columbus since June 10, 2007, a 2-1 Houston victory. Since then, the Crew have won four of the seven meetings at home, with three draws.
  • The Dynamo have won the last two meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium. Their 3-1 win on Aug. 3 of last year was the Dynamo's first win against the Crew in almost exactly five years, since Aug. 2, 2008. The victory snapped a nine-game Crew undefeated streak vs. Houston.
  • Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. CLB: P22 W6 L7 T9 | Gregg Berhalter vs. HOU: P1 W0 L1 T0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo returned home and gained a victory, defeating Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Friday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points from 23 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead six minutes into the second half. Brad Davis released Giles Barnes down the left flank, and he drove a low ball across the face of goal. Will Bruin beat his defender to the ball and poked it home for the opener.
  • The Dynamo were gifted an insurance goal in the dying minutes of the match when Omar Cummings sent in a pass from the left and an unsuspecting Raymon Gaddis directed the ball past his own goalkeeper for an own goal.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made no changes to his team for a second consecutive week, keeping the group that fell 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, David Horst, DaMarcus Beasley - Boniek Garcia (Brian Ownby 90), Luis Garrido, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Andrew Driver 76) - Giles Barnes, Will Bruin (Omar Cummings 87).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo won their second match in a row at home, coming off an eight-game winless streak, and extended their undefeated run at BBVA Compass Stadium to four matches.
  • "We are not a team that should have 25 points," said forward Will Bruin. "We have all the right pieces at all the right positions, and it's time to put it all together. It's enough messing around, enough saying, 'Oh next time, next time.' I think we?ve realized it's now or never, and we're playing like every game's a must-win."
  • Bruin scored his third goal in the last four matches after going more than two months, from May 11-July 12, without scoring in league play.
  • "We were trying to force it a little too much. We knew they were going to be tired and we I think we were trying to force it down the middle," Bruin said. "We came in and had a good talk in the locker room and said we would have a lot of the ball, be smart with possession and when we go we've got to go."
  • The Dynamo also had a second shutout in the last three games, and have not allowed a goal at home in 225 minutes. They have six defensive clean sheet for the season, five of those coming at home.
  • "Everybody but Montreal is above us. There's really nothing for us to hold back," Brad Davis said. "There's nothing to lose. We know where we sit, so we have to start climbing the table and win games. To do that, you have to have a bit of confidence and the belief we can win games, and I think we've done that."
  • Davis recorded his sixth assist of the season, his first since May 11. Since returning from the U.S. national team and the FIFA World Cup, Davis has three goals and one assist in six matches.
  • "I think there's a new-found confidence there," said Davis. "We've been losing games, but we're playing better than we were. I don't think we were putting together some very good games. There were some games we didn't deserve to win, but the past few weeks I think we've played some very good ball."
  • The Dynamo head to Columbus riding a six-game away losing streak, the longest in the club's history since its inception in 2006. The previous long was five in a row in 2010. The Dynamo did go 15 road games without a victory during the 2011 season.
  • "Scoring first I think would go a long way and maybe give us some confidence," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Maybe getting some early chances would be helpful, but being defensively smart is a good thing."
  • Said Davis: "When you're on the road, and you get a chance to score - you're not going to score three or four on the road - when you get your chances you have to take them. I really and truly feel that we'll create chances, and it's just a matter of putting those away."