Preview: Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire
Friday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. CT
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois

BROADCAST INFORMATION
NBC Sports Network - 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
The Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo bring down the curtains on their 2014 campaigns when they meet in an Eastern Conference clash Friday evening at Toyota Park. The Fire have set a record for draws in a single MLS season, their winless streak now at eight games following a 2-1 loss at D.C. United last weekend. The Dynamo will be looking to make a winner of head coach Dominic Kinnear – the only head coach the club has known – in his last game in charge, coming off a 2-1 defeat by the New England Revolution in their final home game of the season last week.

REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Anthony Vasoli; AR2 (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Edvin Jurisevic
MLS Career: 49 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 12; pens: 18

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Wednesday, October 22)

HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: Mark Sherrod – Left knee ACL; Tally Hall – Right knee ACL; DaMarcus Beasley – Left hamstring strain; SUSPENDED: Luis Garrido – MLS Disciplinary Committee decision

CHICAGO FIRE -- OUT: Steve Kinnie – Lower back surgery; Mike Magee – Right hip surgery; Patrick Nyarko – Right knee; QUESTIONABLE: Razvan Cocis – Facial fracture; Robert Earnshaw – Hamstring tightness

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Fire 4 wins, 22 goals … Dynamo 8 wins, 28 goals … Ties 7
  • AT CHICAGO (9 meetings): Fire 2 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 13 goals … Ties 4
  • 2014 MLS: 9/28: HOU 2, CHI 0 (Cummings 14; Garcia 66)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, both over the final month of the campaign. Goals from Omar Cummings and Boniek Garcia gave the Dynamo a 2-0 victory, Sept. 28 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • In league play, the Dynamo last won in Bridgeview in 2009. The Fire won at Robertson Stadium in 2006 and 2007 in their first two trips ever to Houston – and have not won there since.
  • The teams also met in 2012 in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Dynamo taking a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park on their way to an eventual appearance in MLS Cup.
  • Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. HOU: P18 W6 L9 D3 … Dominic Kinnear vs. CHI: P24 W9 L6 D9

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo suffered their second loss in as many matches, falling 2-1 to the New England Revolution on Thursday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points from 33 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead in the 37th minute. Luis Garrido played Omar Cummings into space in the right side of the area, and he fired a shot that Revs 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth parried right into path of Giles Barnes for a simple finish.
  • But the Revolution were level in the 65th minute. Minutes after coming on as a substitute, Jermaine Jones fed a perfect ball through the Houston defense for Kevin Alston, who sent a square ball for Lee Nguyen to drive into the upper corner of the goal and pull the game level.
  • The Revs then pulled out the three points just before the death. Following a half-cleared free kick, Charlie Davies put a shot on goal, but Kofi Sarkodie was in the right spot to clear it off the line. The deflection found its way to Lee Nguyen, and he finished easily for the match-winner.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made three changes to the team that suffered a 3-1 loss to D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. A.J. Cochran and Jermaine Taylor came into the back four and Luis Garrido started in midfield in place of Eric Brunner, DaMarcus Beasley and Servando Carrasco.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, A.J. Cochran, Jermaine Taylor - Andrew Driver (Boniek Garcia 65), Luis Garrido (Servando Carrasco 77), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Omar Cummings (Will Bruin 80), Giles Barnes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo lost their second consecutive game, the first time they’ve lost back-to-back games since dropping five in a row from May 21-June 29.
  • “It’s been a difficult year, it really has, and I don’t think anybody’s going to deny that,” Dynamo captain Brad Davis said. “We hold ourselves to a high standard. Nobody’s more disappointed the way things went this year than the guys in that locker room.”
  • The match at Toyota Park will be final one in charge for Kinnear, who will be leaving Houston to take over the San Jose Earthquakes following the completion of the season. Kinnear is the only head coach the Dynamo have known since their move from San Jose for the 2005 season.
  • “The unknown is the scary part for us players because you never know what type of coach is going to come in here,” Davis said. “We’ve known the style that we’ve had for nine years. There’s a lot of unknowns and what-ifs and things we think about. I think this change could be good for us. The organization’s at an opportunity to go in a different direction if they want too. Let’s look at it as a positive moving forward with the things that are going to happen to this organization. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
  • “It was neat. When I look at that picture from 2005 with Mayor [Bill] White it doesn’t seem like a long time ago. Time does fly by fast,” Kinnear said. “Something pulled us together with this group and these fans and this city … when you think back on it, I’ve been very lucky.”
  • Giles Barnes scored in a third consecutive game and now has 11 goals for the season, his single-season career-high over three MLS seasons. Barnes had nine goals a year ago.
  • Jermaine Taylor started in a league match for the first time since Aug. 29, coming in at left back for the injured DaMarcus Beasley.
  • “It’s been hard. It’s not an easy thing for players to go through,” Davis said. “It definitely, mentally, was difficult. Dom’s choice to leave I think everybody understands it and supports him in that, but the unknown as an athlete and what happens to us is a big question. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult and weighed on us a little bit. We still went out to do our business to the best of our ability but it was something that was there.”
  • Said goalkeeper Tally Hall: “As much as Dom’s been the only coach and had success, if you look at the future of the Houston Dynamo I think there’s some optimism moving forward. That’s the way the industry works. I’m looking forward to earning my stripes in front of another coach.”