Houston Dynamo (5-7-3, sixth place in Western Conference) vs. Columbus Crew (8-2-3, first place in Eastern Conference)
Saturday, July 10, 7:30 p.m. CT
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Gameday Info - first 5,000 fans receive camouflage bracelets from Budweiser
Game Guide - downloadable PDF coming soon
All-Time Record: Series tied 2-2-4
La Ranchera 850
Both Houston and Columbus were longing for points last September to improve their standings in both the Supporters’ Shield race and playoff positioning for home-field advantage. In the first half, a Columbus set piece found Frankie Hejduk unmarked at the far post, and the defender gave the Crew an early lead. However, Houston battled back as Cam Weaver pulled the teams level in the 80th minute. The feisty affair saw both Ricardo Clark and Adam Moffat shown red and ejected late. Geoff Cameron was whistled for a controversial foul against former Dynamo Alejandro Moreno in the box in the game’s final minutes, and Eddie Gaven scored the game-winner in injury time from the penalty spot to give Columbus a 2-1 victory at home.
What's at stake?
Houston hopes to continue to build some momentum after a very solid road draw against a good Toronto FC team. The Dynamo are currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs and need three points after going winless in their last five MLS contests. Columbus needs points to continue to distance itself from New York in the Eastern Conference and also to close the gap for the Supporters’ Shield between the Crew and the LA Galaxy.
Heroes & villains
Brian Ching vs. Chad Marshall: After scoring three goals and notching an assist in his last five MLS games, Ching seems to be venting his frustration at missing the World Cup on any MLS opponent that stands in his way. Marshall provides a more formidable opponent than most, though. With Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s delivery on set pieces, keeping Marshall away from goal might be more important to Houston’s chances at victory.
Dynamo defense vs. themselves: Houston’s D has struggled with poor turnovers, poor clearances, and too many misplays of late. Things get no easier with Schelotto, Rogers, and Gaven providing some of the better offensive attacking talent in MLS. Houston cannot afford any mistakes against a team that can both punish the mistake and then dig in and keep its opponent off the scoreboard.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm…”
Midfielder Brad Davis has tallied two goals and three assists in two previous Brad's Brigade / Military Appreciation Nights.
He said it
“We need the same attitude we brought against Toronto. We have to stay on our feet defensively, because they draw fouls around the box, and that is when they’re really dangerous.” – Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear on the Crew