Pregame notes ahead of Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution

The Dynamo visit the New England Revolution at 6:30 p.m. CT tonight for their lone meeting this season. The game will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS SW alternate channel and in Spanish on TeleXitos and can be heard on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM and in Spanish on La Ranchera 850 AM and 101.7 FM. Here are some notes ahead of the game.

  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle once again has some injury concerns among his team. Ricardo Clark, who snapped a 39-game start streak in MLS play last week against San Jose, remains doubtful with a left hamstring strain. Rob Lovejoy (right hamstring strain) and Alex Lopez (right groin strain) are also doubtful for the game. 
  • Boniek Garcia continues to build fitness after playing 34 minutes in the 2-1 win over San Jose last weekend. The Honduran missed seven games due to the Gold Cup duties and an adductor injury but has been outstanding in his last two appearances for the Dynamo, with one goal and three assists in a total of 79 minutes across two substitute appearances.
  • New England head coach Jay Heaps has a mostly healthy squad, with defender Darrius Barnes the only Revs player on the injury report. Heaps welcomed back U.S. national team midfielder Jermaine Jones after he missed five games recovering from left sports hernia surgery. New England is 3-1-5 this season in games Jones has started.
  • The Dynamo have played well against the Eastern Conference this season, with a 4-1-3 against the East, including a 1-0-2 mark on the road. New England is 3-5-1 against the West this season.
  • The Revolution won two of three games against the Dynamo last season. In both wins, New England scored all of its goals after the 65th minute, including a brace from Lee Nguyen last October at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 2014 MLS MVP finalist scored in the 65th and 87th minutes for a 2-1 win after Giles Barnes scored in the first half.
  • For the fifth consecutive game, the Dynamo have several available players on yellow-card warning and would be suspended for next week’s trip to Portland if they receive a caution tonight. Ricardo Clark, Kofi Sarkodie and Raul Rodriguez must avoid a yellow card tonight. On the other hand, Giles Barnes was awarded the “good behavior bonus” after playing three straight games without a caution and is no longer on warning.
  • The Revolution have their own yellow card worries, with defenders Jose Goncalves and London Woodberry and Nguyen each on yellow-card warning. 
  • Saturday is the start of a three-game road swing for the Dynamo and the club must revere recent history to solidify their playoff position. In their last four three-game road trips, the Dynamo are 0-8-4 (W-L-T). Their last successful lengthy road trip was in 2012, when the club went 2-3-2 over seven road games to start the season as construction of BBVA Compass Stadium was being completed.
  • Milestone Watch: A few milestones could be reached tonight. A few highlights:
  • Brad Davis has 315 career regular-season starts and would tie Pablo Mastroeni and Brian Carrol for sixth on the MLS list with a start tonight.
  • With a start, Will Bruin (139 starts) would pass Wade Barrett for ninth on the club list for all competitions.
  • Bruin has also made 136 career regular-season appearances with Houston and would pass Pat Onstad and Brian Mullan for sixth on the club list with an appearance.
  • Finally, Bruin (123 career regular-season starts) would pass Brian Ching for eighth on the franchise list with a start tonight.
  • Nathan Sturgis is eligible for selection after serving a suspension against San Jose. The veteran can surpass 10,000 career regular-season minutes with 54+ minutes against New England.
  • Ricardo Clark has 233 career appearances in all competitions with the Dynamo and will tie Bobby Boswell for third on the club list with his next appearance.
  • Will Bruin has now started the same amount of regular season games as Brian Ching during his Dynamo career and it is interesting to compare the two forwards, who are the top two scorers in Dynamo history.

Bruin and Ching’s career Dynamo stats (regular-season games only):

Player Games Starts Minutes Goals Assists Shots Shots on goal Fouls committed Fouls suffered Offsides
Brian Ching 169 123 11,341 56 22 293 132 181 265 146
Will Bruin 136 123 10,382 44 14 327 134 93 84 49
  • A few thoughts on the two forwards: In the same amount of starts, and 1,000 less minutes, Bruin has scored only 12 fewer goals. Ching played most of the prime of his career in Houston – he already had four years of MLS experience when the team moved to Houston. Bruin has started all 123 games at the start of his career, beginning with his rookie season in 2011. The strikers clearly had different roles on their teams. Ching drew more fouls – about 3-to-1 compared to Bruin – and Ching was also offside significantly more, as the two players were asked to do different things. Another similarity is both tallied the majority of their goals without benefit of penalties. Bruin has scored all 44 goals without taking a single penalty kick while Ching only scored twice from the spot in the regular season during his career. All things considered, Bruin has a very respectable resume at this point in his career when judged against the Dynamo's all-time scorer.

Enjoy the game!