Preview: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC
Sunday, May 10, 4:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ESPN2 - 4:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM / 101.7 FM - 4:00 p.m. (3:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Toronto FC make their long-awaited home debut for 2015 in a completely remodeled BMO Field when they play host to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday afternoon before an ESPN2 and TSN audience. TFC concluded their seven-game road swing to open the campaign with a pair of wins, last a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia Union a week ago. The Dynamo hit the road after back-to-back defeats on their home ground, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes at midweek.

REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 62 games; FC/gm: 23.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 17; pens: 20

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Friday, May 8)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: Nathan Sturgis – Right shoulder dislocation; DOUBTBFUL: Brad Davis – Left hamstring strain

TORONTO FC – OUT: Steven Caldwell – Achilles injury; Clément Simonin – Right knee surgery; QUESTIONABLE: Joe Bendik – plantar fascia strain

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Toronto FC 4 wins, 20 goals … Dynamo 5 wins, 25 goals … Ties 9
  • AT TORONTO (9 meetings): Toronto FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 4
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Dynamo have come away with points on three of their last four visits to BMO Field, including a 1-0 win there last Oct. 8 in the last meeting between the teams. TFC’s 4-2 home win last year was their first at BMO vs. the Dynamo since 2011.
  • TFC has come away from Houston with points on each of their last four visits, though they have not won there since 2010.
  • Coaches record: Greg Vanney vs. HOU: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Owen Coyle vs. TOR: first game

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo suffered a second consecutive defeat on their home ground, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 10 points from 10 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came in the 54th minute. A quick free kick from the right flank by Quakes midfielder Matias Perez Garcia caught the Houston defense napping, and the service into the middle of box found Adam Jahn unmarked for a header inside the far post.
  • The Dynamo nearly answered three minutes later after Boniek Garcia weaved his through the San Jose defense before being taken down in the six-yard box by San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham, and referee Ricardo Salazar awarded a penalty. But the ensuing spot kick from Giles Barnes was sent low to the right post, and Bingham made a diving save to his left to bat the ball outside the post.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made two changes to the team that suffered a 4-1 defeat by FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium. Luis Garrido and Boniek Garcia came into the team, in place of Nathan Sturgis and Will Bruin.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Tyler Deric - Kofi Sarkodie (David Horst 83), Raul Rodriguez, Jermaine Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley - Luis Garrido, Ricardo Clark - Boniek Garcia (Rob Lovejoy 74), Brad Davis, Alexander Lopez (Will Bruin 65) - Giles Barnes.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo conclude a three-game homestand where they drew once and lost twice, including the back-toback defeats by FC Dallas and San Jose.
  • “If anyone else watches that game, I think they would have accepted that we were the better side and had better chances,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “But when all is said and done, we lost a soft goal. What needs to change for possession into chances is the conversion rate. When you get good catches, you have to be ruthless and convert them.”
  • The four-game winless run matches the longest of the season for the Dynamo, also going 0-2-2 from March 13- April 4.
  • “It was very disappointing,” defender Raúl Rodríguez said. “There is no way we win one of nine [points] at home.”
  • The Dynamo also lost by a 1-0 scoreline for the third time in 10 matches this season. They have won one game by a 1-0 margin (the season opener vs. Columbus).
  • “I think we limited them to very few opportunities, but when all is said and done, you can play outstanding for 89 minutes and one lapse of concentration and that’s what affects you,” Coyle said. “We have to eradicate that very quickly because you cannot give up soft goals.”
  • Said defender Kofi Sarkodie: “We didn’t see it quick enough, and it cost us the goal. We have to be prepared for that, line up quicker and make sure we are tuned in.”
  • Boniek Garcia was able to return to the first XI, making his first appearance in the starting lineup since April 11, playing 74 minutes in a wide midfield role. He had come off the substitutes’ bench at the weekend.
  • Luis Garrido made his first start since April 18, playing the full 90 minutes in a deep-lying central midfield role, after making back-to-back appearances as a substitute.
  • Giles Barnes saw his two-game goalscoring streak come to an end, his penalty kick attempt saved by Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham just minutes after the opening goal. Of the five penalty kicks Barnes has taken in his time in MLS, he has converted two.
  • “You don’t get better opportunities than a penalty kick,” Coyle said. “It’s hard to take, but we will take our medicine and try to pick ourselves up.”