Continuing a series at HoustonDynamo.com, we preview the upcoming game with Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis (Twitter: @GlennDavisSoc). The former professional player calls Dynamo game on ROOT SPORTS and hosts two radio shows – Dynamo All-Access (7-9 p.m. on Wednesday’s on KGOW 1560 AM) and Soccer Matters (Tuesday’s 7-9 p.m. on KFNC 97.5 FM) and also calls games for Fox Sports, ESPN, the Longhorn Network and more. Click here for podcasts of interviews from both shows and visit Davis' Soccer Matters Facebook page for daily soccer content. Wednesday's match kicks off at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS Southwest.
Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo had a chance for three points in Colorado, taking a 1-1 score into halftime. But the Rapids scored an unlikely goal on a fluky cross and brave header from Kevin Doyle. The 2-1 loss was one of the most disappointing results of the season. What were your takeaways from the Dynamo performance?
Glenn Davis: It was a tough night in Colorado, with a bogus penalty to start on Alex Lima, but I would say the Dynamo battled back and leveled the game missing many key components. At this point I felt they would win the game and at the end of the half were in their best phase of the game. The second half was completely different, the Dynamo did not answer the bell, and the winning goal was indicative of a half where the Dynamo simply could not keep possession. Without any extended possession in the second half it was always going to be difficult.
MP: Turning the page to Vancouver, the Dynamo are finally back at home after three straight road games, and still in the playoff picture. What do you expect to see from the Dynamo as a response against a very talented Whitecaps team?
GD: Just that, a response. Hopefully the Dynamo get some experience back with Rico Clark and DaMarcus Beasley, who must lead the way. The squad is reaching out for an individual performance that can lift others! It could be "Cubo" Torres time tonight in a potential starting role, and you could see out the effect of that energy. The points are vital to stay in the hunt. Hoping to see the Dynamo bring a real energy tonight!
MP: The Whitecaps have assembled an impressive roster with a lot of young talent. Kekuta Manneh (20), Russel Teibert (22), Ocatavio Rivero (23), Matias Laba (23), Nicolas Mezquida (23), Cristian Techera (23) Gershon Koffie (24), Darren Mattocks (24) all play regularly and are age 24 and younger. What do you think of this group of players Carl Robinson and the technical staff have assembled at BC Place?
GD: Well, "Youth is King" is Vancouver and so is the manager Carl Robinson. He did the work as an assistant and coaching at the youth level, and he could be for me the "Coach of the Year" in MLS at this point with his guidance and mentoring of youth. Clearly the players are responding to the manager and it is an athletic team with great team speed, which can be an asset in the heat of Houston. All these performances have lessened the need and pressure on Darren Mattocks up front to score goals. Mattocks was away with Jamaica at Copa America and the Gold Cup.
MP: The Dynamo have had to piece together their back line since the game at New England on Aug. 15, when Raul Rodriguez was with a adductor strain and DaMarcus Beasley left the game with a calf injury at halftime. Wednesday in Colorado, the Dynamo moved midfielder Alex Lima to left back, a position he played a few times in Chicago. How do you think the influx in the back line affected the Dynamo on the road trip?
GD: The first goal I thought was a very harsh refereeing decision on Alex Lima. The second goal I think the Dynamo players would tell you was all on them. It was ugly, hesitant mentally and a play that should have been finished out defensively from all involved. One that makes managers pull their hair out. I am sure these players know that. Apart from that, was Colorado really dangerous? Not in my opinion. Still, missing veterans, having to make tons of changes due to injury always means groups of players have to come together quickly and cohesively in areas all over the field. Sometimes it is seamless, other times it can be difficult, but in MLS you must have different lineups and players that can come together quickly based on all the challenges. Eleven of sixteen on the road was not the best of scheduling by MLS, in my opinion, but it can not be an excuse either as all teams have differing challenges with call ups, friendly matches and injuries.
MP: Saturday is Vancouver’s eighth game this month as the club has balanced three competitions: MLS, CONCACAF Champions League and the Canadian Championship. The Whitecaps will come to Houston with confidence after winning the Canadian Championship on Wednesday, but could clearly be a tired team. How do you expect the Dynamo to approach the game, given their own short turnaround and the warm temperature at kickoff?
GD: At home the Dynamo have to be the "home" team, aggressors, and we have seen that this year in a number of games. But they need veteran leadership and a good night on the ball as a basis to build off. What is not to like about being at home in front of the home fans in Houston!!!