The Houston Dynamo aren’t playing for revenge on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. They’re playing for pride.
“It’s not revenge for one game, it's revenge for the entire year,” midfielder Brad Davis. “We’re playing for pride and our jobs and a spot on the team next year and to show that the year is not a complete wash."
The Dynamo lost to the Union 3-2 on May 29, when Union rookie Danny Mwanga scored a stoppage-time goal to help Philadelphia earn just its second victory in franchise history. That is one of 14 losses on the season for the Dynamo, who are looking to top a Union team fresh off a 4-1 loss to Colorado on Wednesday.
“We have to go off their performance at home rather than their performance [against Colorado],” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. “To go into the game thinking that will happen again, we will be in for a big shock. They are a proud team and will want to bounce back with a lot of intensity, and we have to make sure we are ready for that.”
With Kinnear suspended, the Dynamo coaching staff itself might be interesting to watch. Assistant coaches Steve Ralston and Wade Barrett are both relatively new to the team, so who runs the squad on Saturday is still up in the air.
“We haven’t talked about it yet,” Kinnear said Thursday. “We’ll talk about it [Friday] on the plane and Saturday morning.”
“I am sure we’ll all get our own instructions and he’ll be watching from upstairs,” goalkeepers coach Tim Hanley said of Kinnear.
Regardless of who is coaching, the Dynamo the key to the match might fall on the feet of their defense. With the possibility that third-string goalkeeper Tyler Deric may make his MLS debut, the defense will have to raise its game and maintain that level for the entire match.
“Defensively we just have to be better all around the field,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “We have to play solid team defense, and the important part is making sure we are up for the challenge of a full 90-minute game.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.