DL_091215_Preview

Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, September 12, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS Southwest (Alternate Channel) - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
HoustonDynamo.com/live (English audio) - 7:30 p.m.
La Ranchera 850 AM / 101.7 FM - 7:30 p.m. (7:00 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Two teams trying to haul themselves back into the postseason positions in the Western Conference meet when the Houston Dynamo play host to Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening. Both teams sit outside the top six in the division, the Dynamo six points back of sixth-place Portland, with Real a further three points back at the foot of the table. The Dynamo ended a three-game winless run with a 2-0 home win against Vancouver in their last match, while RSL dropped a 2-0 decision at FC Dallas last time out.

REFEREE: Robert Sibiga. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 1.5; R: 1; pens: 0

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Thursday, September 10)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: Jermaine Taylor – Right quad tear; DaMarcus Beasley – Left calf strain; Kofi Sarkodie – Right knee bone bruise; Luis Garrido – Right hamstring; DOUBTFUL:  Alex – Right hamstring strain

REAL SALT LAKE – OUT: Chris Schuler – Ankle spurs; SUSPENDED: Tony Beltran, Luke Mulholland (yellow card accumulation)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Dynamo 9 wins, 28 goals … Real 6 wins, 30 goals … Ties 5
  • AT HOUSTON (10 meetings): Dynamo 8 wins, 24 goals … Real 1 win, 19 goals … Ties 1
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Javier Morales and Joao Plata each scored a goal and assisted on the other’s as Real claimed a 2-0 victory July 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • RSL has won the last three meetings between the teams. RSL has taken points from their last six home games vs. Houston, with three draws in that time.
  • Real won the only meeting between the teams a year ago, a 5-2 victory May 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium – their first win ever in Houston. They suffered eight defeats and one draw in their first nine visits to Houston
  • Coaches record: Jeff Cassar vs. HOU: P2 W2 L0 D0 … Owen Coyle vs. RSL: P1 W0 L1 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo returned home and put an end to a three-game winless slide, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 in their last match, Aug. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 35 points from 27 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The opening goal came in the 34th minute. Dynamo fullback Sheanon Williams sent a ball to the near post where Erick Torres redirected it toward the right side of the goal. Ricardo Clarkc came crashing in and slid through the ball, and it trickled its way across the goal line.
  • Whitecaps FC went a man down in the 56th minute when Kendall Waston was sent off by referee Kevin Stott after picking up his second yellow card in five minutes for a hard tackle on Giles Barnes. Then in the 64th minute, Matias Laba was also shown a second yellow and sent off for a hard foul on Williams.
  • The Dynamo capped the victory in the 88th minute when Raul Rodriguez scored from a free header on a Brad Davis corner kick.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made four changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Raul Rodriguez and DaMarcus Beasley came into the back four and Ricardo Clark and Erick Torres also came into the team, replacing A.J. Cochran, Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido and Nathan Sturgis.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-1-1): Tyler Deric - Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley (Luis Garrido 24) - Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark (Nathan Sturgis 72), Alex, Giles Barnes - Erick Torres (Boniek Garcia 66) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo won their third consecutive game at BBVA Compass Stadium and extended their home undefeated run to six games, dating back to May 16.
  • Ricardo Clark made his first start since Aug. 1, after missing four matches to a hamstring injury, and scored in a second consecutive game when he’s played. Clark added to his single-season career-high, now with six goals in his 11th MLS season.
  • “Obviously injuries are frustrating, but that’s the way it goes,” said Clark. “It was a 4-6 week injury, and I tried to make it back earlier. I’ve had license to get in the box, and I think that just comes with the role of my position. I just try and be in the box at the right time and take advantage of my opportunities on goal, and thankfully I was able to be in the right place at the right time and make the most of it.”
  • Said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle: “He pushed himself so hard to get himself fit from the hamstring that he gave himself a calf knock, and that’s what delayed him. The hamstring was ready to go during the week at Colorado [Wednesday], but the calf was just too tender. We couldn’t take the chance. He’s such an important part of the team and a valuable player, I didn’t want to risk him playing one or two games and then miss him for seven or eight again. You see the impact he has on the team.”
  • DaMarcus Beasley made his first start after a two-match absence, coming in at left back, but he was forced to exit after just 24 minutes with a left leg injury.
  • “’Rico’ wasn’t 100 percent, but the fight and energy, obviously with the goal, but everything besides that was great," said Beasley. “We needed his energy, his presence on the field is so big for us. I think Owen gives [Clark] a little more range to go up and down. ... You see what he can do, he’s a box-to-box midfielder. He’s a complete player as far as midfielders go. I’m glad I have him on my team. That was only a 70 percent ‘Rico’. When he gets to 100 percent, I can’t wait to see that.”
  • Following the change, Alex returned to the left back position he played in the loss at the Colorado Rapids, as Luis Garrido came into a central midfield role along with Clark.
  • After six consecutive matches coming off the substitutes’ bench, Erick Torres made his first start for the Dynamo, playing 66 minutes in an underneath striker role.
  • Raul Rodriguez scored his second goal for the Dynamo, his first since April 25 when he netted vs. Sporting KC.