Preview: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at D.C. United
Saturday, April 18, 6:00 p.m. CT
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Telemundo Houston - 11:00 p.m. (tape delay) CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Now separated into different conferences but once a vibrant postseason rivalry, D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo meet for the only time this season when the clubs clash Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United saw their winning streak end but still were able to extend their undefeated run last weekend, hauled back into a late 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls in the nation’s capital. The Dynamo exploded for their biggest attacking output of the year last weekend, rolling to a 3-0 win against the Montréal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium.

REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Eric Weisbrod; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 112 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 36; pens: 28

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Thursday, April 16)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – DOUBTFUL: Boniek García – Left knee sprain; QUESTIONABLE: Raúl Rodríguez – concussion

D.C. UNITED – OUT: Markus Hastli – Right knee; Steve Birnbaum – Left ankle; Collin Martin – Nerve surgery; SUSPENDED: Fabian Espindola

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (21 meetings): United 6 wins, 21 goals … Dynamo 13 wins, 37 goals … Ties 2
  • AT RFK STADIUM (10 meetings): United 5 wins, 14 goals … Dynamo 4 wins, 16 goals … Ties 1
  • RETURN MATCH: None.
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • When United won 3-1 last Oct. 12 at BBVA Compass Stadium, it was their first victory in Houston in 12 meetings all time in league and cup play. The Dynamo had won 10 of the first 11 matchups there, with one draw
  • United’s win last May 21 at RFK Stadium was their first against the Dynamo since the 2012 season. The Dynamo had won six of seven meetings in between, with one draw, including a victory and a tie in the 2012 Eastern Conference Championship.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. HOU: P12 W3 L8 D1 … Owen Coyle vs. DC: first game

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo put an end to their winless run with a goal explosion, rolling to a 3-0 victory against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 8 points from 6 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Dynamo took the lead after just the 15th minute. Brad Davis hooked in a free kick from the left side and Giles Barnes cut across the box, redirecting the service with a glancing header inside the far post, leaving Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush to watch.
  • The lead was doubled in the 72nd minute. Substitute Rob Lovejoy burst down the left sideline and cut the ball back to Ricardo Clark. He took a long touch through a defender's legs and found the ball perfectly teed up, putting his point-blank shot into the roof of the goal.
  • The scoreline was completed in the 80th minute when Lovejoy picked off a goal kick at midfield, pushing up the field on the left and curled a shot from just outside the area into the upper right corner.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. David Horst came into the back four in place of the injured Raúl Rodríguez
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley - Luis Garrido (Rob Lovejoy 64), Nathan Sturgis - Boniek Garcia (Alexander Lopez 53), Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis - Giles Barnes (Chandler Hoffman 90).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo exceeded their goal output for the entire season in one night in the win against Montréal. The Dynamo had scored two goals total in their first five games.
  • Giles Barnes’ opening goal in the win was the Dynamo’s first since March 21, and ended a 271-minute scoreless streak.
  • “You look at those goals we scored,” Brad Davis said. “Those goals weren't going in last week or the week before.”
  • It was also the third shutout in six matches this season for the Dynamo. They have not allowed more than a single goal in any of their games.
  • Rookie Rob Lovejoy made his fourth appearance this season, coming off the substitutes’ bench, and scored his first professional goal while also adding an assist.
  • "Montreal probably started the second half slightly better than us and I thought I needed to do something quickly to change it,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “That’s what we did we brought Alex Lopez on the right and Rob on the left to give us that youthful energy and the quality they’ve both got and we stretched the game. Every game he plays he’s in the wars. He’s got that little bit of Doberman about him, which I love, and he listens and he learns.”
  • Brad Davis recorded his first assist of the season on the Barnes opener. Davis was tied for eighth in MLS with 11 assists a year ago; he has had 10 or more assists in six of his 14 MLS seasons.
  • Alexander Lopez came off the bench for the final 37 minutes in place of Boniek García; it was Lopez’s longest outing since his only MLS start, last June 6 vs. Sporting KC
  • “He’s a young man who’s got talent, there’s no doubt about that,” Coyle said. “What we’ve got to do is encourage him to flourish and give him the opportunity to show everybody the ability he has. But ability’s not enough. Ability will only take you so far. I think he understands what’s required of him and now he’s waiting for the opportunity.”
  • The Dynamo did make a player acquisition following the Impact match, picking up midfielder Alex from the Chicago Fire in exchange for striker Jason Johnson.
  • "What he knows is he comes into a good squad, players, and he’s going to have to come the same as every one of them, and he’s going to have to earn the right to play in the team,” Coyle said. “... Any player that can pop up in a couple of different areas is going to be important to us. It’s an exciting chance for him and us as we bolster our squad.”