Even though they're squaring off against the only team lower than them on the table, the Houston Dynamo expect a dogfight against D.C. United on Saturday night, with both teams likely to go all out to avoid ending the season at the bottom of the table.
“No one wants to be at the bottom of the table, and it’s a chance for us to separate ourselves from them,” said defender Bobby Boswell, who played for D.C. prior to joining the Dynamo but is suspended for Saturday's match due to yellow card accumulation.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the four game-winning stoppage-time goals the Dynamo have conceded in 2010 are the most by any MLS team in league history. Thus, to avoid falling in stoppage time for a third consecutive match, the key for Houston will be to tighten up and lock down at the back late to seal the game.
“We have to put teams away and not let them hang around,” said forward Brian Ching after the loss to Toronto.
Coach Dominic Kinnear knows exactly what to expect from D.C., which lost 2-1 to the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend. In that clash, United conceded two late goals to Landon Donovan in the game’s final 10 minutes.
“They came off an unlucky loss against LA, as they played well and got ahead,” noted Kinnear. “It’s no easy game [for us against D.C.]. Ben Olsen’s doing a good job, and they’re getting some players healthy.”
Boswell believes United made a good pick when they selected Olsen as their head coach.
“He was always like a coach when I was a rookie,” noted Boswell. “He’s good at reading guys and would probably be a great players' coach like Dom here. When you have someone who understands the players and makes them feel respected, the players want to play for you, and that is something that I think Ben definitely would bring.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.