Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution
Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ESPN2 - 7:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 7:00 p.m. (6:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 7:00 p.m. (6:30 p.m. pregame

PREVIEW
A match with important implications for the Eastern Conference playoff picture kicks off the week when the Houston Dynamo play host to the New England Revolution on Thursday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo saw their playoff hopes dashed last weekend in a 3-1 home loss to D.C. United. But the Revolution still have a home berth in the conference semifinals on their radar, after securing their spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-2 draw at the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon.

REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Jeffrey Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Marcos DeOliveira.
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 3; pens: 5

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Tuesday, October 14)

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Mark Sherrod – Left knee ACL; Tally Hall – Right knee ACL; DaMarcus Beasley – Left hamstring strain; QUESTIONABLE: Will Bruin – Right mid-foot sprain

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: Shalrie Joseph – L groin strain; Stephen McCarthy – L meniscus surgery; Luis Soffner – R ankle sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Kevin Alston – L ankle sprain; Teal Bunbury – L hamstring tightness; Chris Tierney – R ankle sprain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 17 goals … Revolution 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 6
  • AT HOUSTON (9 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 9 goals … Revolution 5 wins, 9 goals … Ties 1
  • 2014 MLS: 3/8: HOU 4, NE 0 (Bruin 2, 13; Garcia 23; Cummings 92+); 4/12: NE 2, HOU 0 (Alston 68; Bengtson 91+)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Will Bruin scored the game’s lone goal in second-half stoppage time to hand the Dynamo the victory Aug. 3 at BBVA Compass Stadium; Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espíndola scored on either side of halftime to pace United to a 2-0 victory May 21 at RFK Stadium.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Kevin Alston and Jerry Bengtson scored second-half goals to lead the Revolution to a 2-0 win April 12 in Foxborough; Will Bruin scored two goals and set up another as the Dynamo rolled to a 4-0 win in the season opener, March 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Revolution have a winning record all-time in Houston, with five victories and a draw in nine league matches there. The Revolution victory in the last match was their first at Gillette Stadium against the Dynamo since 2010.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P7 W2 L3 D2 … Dominic Kinnear vs. NE: P24 W9 L7 D8

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo were officially eliminated from playoff contention, seeing their seven-game home undefeated streak put to an end with a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 32 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Following a weather delay of more than an hour midway through the first half, United took the lead in the 41st minute. Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric rushed off his line to stop a Chris Pontius shot, only to see the rebound land at the feet of Taylor Kemp, and he drove the ball back inside the far post from just inside the 18-yard box.
  • United doubled their advantage in the 64th minute. Sean Franklin cleared a Dynamo free kick from the edge of his own area to Fabian Espindola, and he had nothing but open field ahead of him. He raced 60 yards to the other end before capping his run with a classy chip over an onrushing Deric.
  • The Dynamo were given a lifeline in the 81st minute when Sean Franklin was whistled a penalty kick by referee Ismail Elfath after he appeared to drag Ricardo Clark down in the box. Giles Barnes calmly beat United goalkeeper Bill Hamid to the right to make it 2-1.
  • But United finished off their first win ever in Houston in the 87th minute when Sean Franklin put in a cross from the right to David Estrada all alone at the back post, and he played the ball square to a completely unmarked Eddie Johnson who tapped home into a unguarded goal from close range.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made one change to the team that defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field. Eric Brunner came into central defense for the suspended A.J. Cochran.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-2-3): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Eric Brunner (Will Bruin 78), DaMarcus Beasley (Corey Ashe 11) - Servando Carrasco (Alexander Lopez 66) - Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Omar Cummings, Giles Barnes, Andrew Driver.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo were eliminated from playoff contention following the loss to United, the first time since 2010 they have failed to reach the postseason, and just the second time in the club’s nine-year history in Houston.
  • “A whole lot of stuff didn’t go our way this year. To get knocked out of the playoffs is a sickening feeling because we’ve had some magical moments here and our playoff record here over the years is fantastic and to not be a part of the second season is a real disappointment,” said Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear. “It’s been one of those years. I can’t say one of those years plural because I don’t think we’ve ever had one like it. It’s been an odd year from all sides. There’s some stats that are wonderful to look at and some stats that are not.”
  • Said Brad Davis: “To be totally honest, over the last 11-12 games we’ve been playing some pretty good ball, but we’ve got to continue to do that throughout the year,” said Brad Davis. “When you look at over I think like the summer, right before the summer or whatever, we went like [eight] games where we didn’t pick up any points. That’s something we’ve obviously got to work on.”
  • Giles Barnes scored for a second consecutive match and has 10 goals this season, matching his MLS single-season career-high set a year ago. Five of his goals have come over the last seven matches.
  • “There were times where we moved the ball well and I think we have to be a little more confident. I think we all need to be a little bit better about being comfortable on the ball, controlling the ball,” said Davis. “I think those types of things and opening things teams up. When you start to play direct over-and-over it’s kind of easy to start defending. We just need to be a little bit more confident. Play, move the ball a little bit and stretch teams out.”
  • DaMarcus Beasley made his seventh consecutive start at left back, but was forced to come off after just 11 minutes after suffering a hamstring injury. Beasley missed back-to-back games Aug. 23-29, also with a hamstring strain.
  • “I don’t know. I’m optimistic, but at the same time I know my body; I know I’m not 20 years old anymore,” Beasley said. “Muscle injuries are difficult sometimes. I don’t know. We’ll see. It still feels pretty bad today. I think in the morning after I get a good night’s sleep hopefully it’ll calm down. I’m optimistic that hopefully I can play one of the last games of the season.”
  • With Luis Garrido and Boniek Garcia still away on international duty, Servando Carrasco made his second consecutive start in the Dynamo midfield, this time in a holding role in a three-man central group.
  • “We’re missing Boni [García], Luis [Garrido] and Jermaine [Taylor] right now at a pretty important time of the year. That’s one thing we definitely feel needs to change. We have to have that. We have to have all guys at your disposal,” said Davis. “There were a few games when I think we dressed only 15 guys. We only had 15 guys. Those aren’t necessarily excuses, but I think as a league, if you look at it overall, those are things we can better to make our teams better, make our teams a little bit better. We battled lots of injuries. Maybe that’s something we need to look at, but three ACLs—that’s just weird. There’s no real getting around that.”
  • The Dynamo conceded three goals in the loss to United, their most since a 3-0 loss at Columbus on Aug. 23. The Dynamo have conceded 54 goals this season – the most in a year in the club’s history in Houston.