DL_032815_Colorado

Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
Saturday, March 28, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS (Alternate Channel) - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Telemundo Houston - 11:00 p.m. (tape delay) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Now a tussle for Western Conference positioning, the Houston Dynamo and the Colorado Rapids meet for the first time this year when the clubs face off Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo return home off their first road trip of the year, playing to a 1-1 draw at the LA Galaxy last weekend. The Rapids are still looking for their first win and their first goal, following their scoreless draw with New York City FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last Saturday.

REFEREE: Marcos de Oliveira. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Kyle Atkins; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 3 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 1; pens: 2

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Thursday, March 26)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – DOUBTFUL: Ricardo Clark – R costochondral fracture; QUESTIONABLE: DaMarcus Beasley – L hamstring strain; Nathan Sturgis – R sartorius strain

COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: Drew Moor – R knee injury; Marlon Hairston – shoulder; QUESTIONABLE: Carlos Alvarez – ankle, Axel Sjöberg – foot

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido (HON; vs FGY 3/25, 3/29); Giles Barnes, Jermaine Taylor (JAM; vs VEN 3/27, vs CUB 3/30) ... COL: Shane O'Neill (U.S. U-23)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Dynamo 7 wins, 24 goals … Rapids 7 wins, 25 goals … Ties 5
  • AT HOUSTON (8 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 17 goals … Rapids 1 win, 12 goals … Ties 3
  • RETURN MATCHES: 8/26: Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m. MT; 9/26: Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. CT
  • The Rapids last lost to the Dynamo in league play in 2009, when the Dynamo took a 1-0 victory April 19 at Robertson Stadium. The Rapids have won four of the seven meetings since, with three draws.
  • The Dynamo haven’t won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since 2008, with the Rapids winning the last two meetings in Commerce City, including a 3-0 win last June 1 in the only meeting between the teams.
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. COL: first game … Pablo Mastroeni vs. HOU: P1 W1 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo return home after gaining a point from their first away contest of the season, reaching a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Dynamo are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 4 points from 3 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy took the lead after just three minutes. Jose Villarreal picked off a Houston pass inside Galaxy territory, fed Robbie Keane at the midfield stripe, and he took off on a 50-yard sprint to the Dynamo box, beating a defender just outside the area then firing off ‘keeper Tyler Deric, with the ball bouncing into the net.
  • The Dynamo answered eight minutes later. From a corner kick, center back David Horst beat his marker at the far post for Boniek Garcia's service and nodded the ball across the goalmouth. Nathan Sturgis caught his marker ball-watching and raced in alone to easily tap home past LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to Orlando City SC at BBVA Compass Stadium. Nathan Sturgis came into the midfield in place of Leonel Miranda.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-4-1): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley (A.J. Cochran 55) - Ricardo Clark (Rob Lovejoy 42) - Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido, Nathan Sturgis (Will Bruin 79), Brad Davis - Giles Barnes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo have evenly split their three matches this season, with a win, a draw and a loss, while neither scoring nor conceding more than one goal in any of the contests.
  • “We certainly had enough belief that we would come in and get a positive result. We came in with a game plan to execute and we gave up a soft goal in a couple minutes,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “It would have been easy for the boys to feel sorry for themselves, but we picked ourselves up and we were the team that took it to them. When it came to attack, we were quick, we looked decisive and for me it was an outstanding performance.
  • There was another tactical shift by Coyle, running out Giles Barnes as the lone out-and-out striker, and putting Nathan Sturgis in a three-man midfield with Ricardo Clark lying in a deeper role.
  • “I thought bringing him in there and making it a strong three in the midfield on a very big pitch against a top team it was a formation that we could play higher up the pitch with a decent ball and Nathan did that,” Coyle said. “It worked well.”
  • Clark was forced from the match before halftime after suffering a chest injury, as Rob Lovejoy made his second career appearance.
  • There was also a forced change on the back line as DaMarcus Beasley suffered a hamstring injury and came off for A.J. Cochran.
  • “Again we were blighted by injury in the game, seeing three players come off through injury, but the next boys stepped up to the pitch and gave us life, an outstanding performance and a very well hard-earned point,” said Coyle. “… Other players stepped in so we know moving forward that we will have a good team. There won't be many teams that will come here and earn a point in the manner we did because there were times we actually could have won the game on the counter attack.”
  • After playing in the Orlando City SC match in tandem with Barnes up top, Boniek Garcia moved back to a wide role in the attack, on the right flank.
  • “I’m not used to playing with my back to goal,” Garcia said. “Right now it’s one of those that’s a good challenge. I trust I’ll quickly adapt and make the best of it. Obviously my preference is to play down the wing, but that’s where Owen needs me right now, and I’m more than available to do whatever he asks me to do.”