Preview: Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union

Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union
Saturday, April 19, 3:00 p.m. CT
PPL Park, Chester, PA

CSN Houston Plus - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Telemundo Houston - 11:00 p.m. (Delay)
MLS LIVE - 3:00 p.m.
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. pregame)


A pair of clubs looking to put the skids on winless runs meet in a key Eastern Conference matchup as Philadelphia Union play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. Union saw their winless streak extended to five games, a run of three straight draws put to an end in a 2-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls at midweek. The Dynamo have lost three games in a row, their last match a 2-0 defeat at the New England Revolution last weekend.

REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 32 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 13; pens: 10


HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Eric Brunner – Right ankle surgery; DOUBTFUL: Brad Davis -- Right ankle sprain

PHILADELPHIA UNION -- QUESTIONABLE: Fred – L quad strain; Danny Cruz – R heel contusion


  • ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Union 3 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 4 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
  • AT PHILADELPHIA (4 meetings): Union 1 win, 5 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 2
  • RETURN MATCHES: 8/15: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 8 p.m. CT; 9/20: Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo, 6 p.m. CT
  • The Dynamo have won the last three meetings between the teams, including both matchups a season ago, winning 1-0 both at BBVA Compass Stadium (July 6) and PPL Park (Sept. 14).
  • Union were unbeaten vs. the Dynamo in their first four meetings, until Houston won both legs of an Eastern Conference Semifinal Series between the clubs in 2011.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. HOU: P5 W1 L4 D0 … Dominic Kinnear vs. PHI: P9 W4 L3 D2


The Houston Dynamo fell to their second consecutive loss, dropping a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Dynamo are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 5 games.


  • The Revolution took the lead in the 68th minute. Kevin Alston worked a one-two with Daigo Kobayashi to create on opportunity, and Teal Bunbury’s last touch left Alston with an open chance about 13 yards out that he buried for his first MLS goal.
  • The home side capped the win in stoppage time. From a long ball deep in the New England half, Jerry Bengtson was able to sweep in ahead of goalkeeper Tally Hall, pick up the ball on the fly and get into the box behind Hall, burying home past a sliding defender from close range.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that fell 4-1 to FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium. A.J. Cochran came into central defense for the suspended David Horst, and Tony Cascio started in midfield in place of Brad Davis.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Jermaine Taylor, A.J. Cochran, Corey Ashe - Tony Cascio (Warren Creavalle 69), Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Andrew Driver (Omar Cummings 75) - Will Bruin, Giles Barnes.


  • The Dynamo saw their losing streak extended to three games in the loss to New England. It’s the club’s longest losing run in league play since losing four in a row, Aug. 28-Sept. 22, 2010.
  • “Right now, I think we’re our own worst enemy,” said forward Will Bruin. “It’s not like an unlucky roll of the ball or something, it’s stuff we’re hurting ourselves with right now. ... Looking at this year, I don’t think any team that’s beaten us is better than us. We’re playing good stuff and kind of let them off the hook a little bit. It’s just something you learn from.”
  • “You have to keep things in perspective,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “Have things been going good? Absolutely not, and we understand that. On the other side of it, if we put a couple of wins together we’ll be right back on top. Reality is always a good reminder of what’s around you and I think we’ve experienced a lot to know that five games in we’re not out of the chase.”
  • The Dynamo were not able to put a single attempt at goal on target, with nine total shots for the game.
  • “These guys are trying to score. I just don’t know that we had any good looks at goal,” Kinnear said. “We just weren’t connecting passes in order to go up the field as a unit. Finishing is always about making the goalkeeper work or putting a shot on target and that never goes away. We always want to stress that… but when you don’t have enough opportunities to be able to do that, it does take away from it.”
  • Said Giles Barnes: “That’s what we’ve got to do – start shooting. I think we’re overdoing it in some areas instead of shooting. That’s just the confidence everyone has in each other to let each have the ball, but we’ve got to get more shots off. We know that our passing’s got to be a little bit crisper and we’ve got to get it right.”
  • After opening the season with back-to-back shutouts, the Dynamo have conceded eight goals over their three-game losing run, while scoring just twice.
  • “I think on the road we have to do a little bit better to finish out the game. I think 0-0 at half isn’t too bad of a result. We just have to keep the 90 minutes more consistent. We could be better,” said Clark.
  • Tony Cascio returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the season opener, when he was forced from the field just short of the hour mark with an injury. Cascio had come on as a halftime substitute in the FC Dallas contest.
  • After being forced to come off at halftime of the Dallas game, Brad Davis did not feature in the New England loss.
  • With David Horst suspended after being sent off in the Dallas game, A.J. Cochran made his first MLS start, in central defense.
  • “I thought the guys that came in and did all right. … Just didn’t play very well,” said Kinnear. Said goalkeeper Tally Hall: “We’re still a positive group, but I think there’s frustration at the personal level and I think there should be. There’s nothing wrong with being motivated to play better. There’s a long list of reasons to be disappointed and we’re going to use it as motivation to individually be better and as a team be better.”