Dynamo (7-14-6, 27 points, seventh in Western Conference) vs.
New England Revolution (7-15-5, 26 points, seventh in Eastern Conference)
Sunday, October 10, 7:30 p.m. CT
Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
All-time record: New England leads 5-2-5 (5-1-3 regular season)
7:15 p.m. KHOU 11.2 (English)
7:30 p.m. FOX Sports Houston Plus (English)
7:00 p.m. TV Informa (Spanish)
6:45 p.m. SportsTalk 790 (English)
7:00 p.m. La Ranchera 850 (Spanish)
Game Guide - downloadable PDF
Two teams already eliminated from playoff contention square off solely for pride Sunday night at Robertson Stadium.
Both sides are in a very uncharacteristic spot this season. Usually matching up for trophies – they have faced each other for two MLS Cups and a SuperLiga title in the last five years – the Dynamo and thehave fallen on hard times of late with the departure of some of their former stars to Europe and with other contributors lost through expansion drafts or via trades.
On Sunday, both will try to show at least a hint of what was and give fans something to cheer for as the current season winds down and sights are set on 2011.
New England Revolution
The Revs enter the showdown with Houston winless in their last five MLS matches, having conceded 11 goals in three losses. But don’t let those results fool you: New England jumped out to two-goal leads against both Dallas and Columbus only to tie those matches and fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake despite outshooting their opponent 20-6.
The Revs also held serve at home against Houston less than two months ago, when they won by a 1-0 margin on an Ilija Stolica second-half goal. New England's victory took the wind out of Houston’s playoff hopes and gave the Revs at least a glimmer of hope, but failing to win in their last five has now shut the door on their playoff aspirations.
New England will be shorthanded Sunday as Gambian internationals Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi will miss the match after being called up for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and seven players were listed on Tuesday's injury report. New England could be down to just 12 field players available for Sunday's game.
While the Dynamo have yet to put two consecutive victories together, they did get a draw following a win for the first time all year last week.
Houston’s improved play has been a result of the combination of Geoff Cameron and Lovel Palmer putting in improved performances in the center of the the midfield. As a result, the team has gotten substantially more of the ball and, while the Dynamo have not created a plethora of opportunities in attack, the team’s improved possession has resulted in seven goals in their last three matches.
Heroes & villains
Shalrie Joseph vs. Geoff Cameron: It’s hard to imagine two bigger, more physical midfielders battling in the center of the field than these two. Joseph has always been a thorn in not only Houston’s side, but really for most of his MLS opponents. Cameron will have to establish the same presence he has displayed over the last couple of games for Houston to keep Joseph from making dangerous forward runs.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm”
New England has yet to lose at Robertson Stadium, compiling a 3-0-1 record.
- Track Shalrie Joseph’s late runs into box.
- Continue improved possession play.
- Tight marking on Dynamo set pieces.
- Exert high pressure on the Dynamo midfield to force turnovers.
OUT: MF Colin Clark (L knee surgery); FW Brian Ching (R knee swelling); DOUBTFUL: MF Anthony Obodai (L knee meniscus); GK Tally Hall (R ankle sprain)
OUT: DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain); FW Zak Boggs (concussion); GK Preston Burpo (R leg fracture/surgery); DF Cory Gibbs (infection); FW Taylor Twellman (concussion); FW Roberto Linck (R adductor strain); DOUBTFUL: MF Nico Colaluca (L knee sprain)