DL_092015_Philadelphia

Preview: Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union
Sunday, September 20, 6:00 p.m. CT
PPL Park, Chester, Pennsylvania

BROADCAST INFORMATION
FOX Sports 1 - 6:00 p.m. CHANNEL LISTINGS
Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)
Sirius XM FC (channel 85) - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 AM / 101.7 FM - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Two clubs which find themselves outside of playoff positions meet when Philadelphia Union entertain the Houston Dynamo in an interconference clash Saturday evening at PPL Park. Union sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points outside the top six and the playoff places, following their 2-1 defeat by Columbus Crew SC at PPL Park last weekend. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Western Conference, six points outside the top six in that division, hitting the road off of a 3-1 defeat by Real Salt Lake at BBVA Compass Stadium last weekend.

REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 60 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 20; pens: 14

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Friday, September 18)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – OUT: Jermaine Taylor – Right quad tear; Alex – Right hamstring strain; DOUBTFUL: DaMarcus Beasley – Left calf strain; PROBABLE: Kofi Sarkodie – Right knee bone bruise; Luis Garrido – Right hamstring; SUSPENDED: Raúl Rodríguez (yellow card accumulation)

PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: Jimmy McLaughlin – concussion; QUESTIONABLE: Maurice Edu – L groin Strain; Andrew Wenger – L MCL sprain; Fernando Aristeguieta – R groin strain; Brian Sylvestre – L knee inflamation

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Union 3 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 5 wins, 14 goals … Ties 4
  • AT PHILADELPHIA (6 meetings): Union 1 win, 5 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 4
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Dynamo have a six-game undefeated streak alive against Union, with four wins and two draws in that time. The Dynamo have won the last four meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Dynamo have come away with points from each of their last three visits to PPL Park, including from scoreless draws in both league meetings there last season. The last Union home victory in the all-time series came Sept. 23, 2012, a 3-1 win.
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. PHI: first game … Jim Curtin vs. COL P2 W0 L1 D1

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo weren’t able to build upon a first win in four matches, suffering a 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 35 points from 28 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Real took the lead just before the stroke of halftime. Javier Morales was in the right place amid a scrum of players directly in front of goal and struck home a loose ball on the last kick of the half following a deflected Devon Sandoval shot.
  • More good fortune doubled the RSL lead in the 52nd minute. Juan Manuel Martinez saw his shot saved by Dynamo 'keeper Tyler Deric, only for the rebound to fall right to Sandoval's feet, and he volleyed it home from close range.
  • The Dynamo's pulled a goal back in the 62nd minute, as RSL substitute John Stertzer was ruled to have handled the ball in his own penalty area, and referee Robert Sibiga awarded the spot kick. Brad Davis blasted his effort into the upper-left corner past Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando to cut the lead to 2-1.
  • But just three minutes later RSL's Martinez beat a defender on the run down the right and buried a well-placed shot from a tight angle to restore the two-goal lead at 3-1.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made two changes to the team that defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. AJ Cochran came into the back four for DaMarcus Beasley, and Nathan Sturgis started in the midfield in place of Alex.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tyler Deric - Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, A.J. Cochran (Mauro Manotas 80) - Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark, Nathan Sturgis, Giles Barnes - Will Bruin, Erick Torres (Boniek Garcia 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo saw their three-game home winning streak put to an end in the defeat by Real Salt Lake. It was their first loss at BBVA Compass Stadium in eight league matches – since a 1-0 defeat by San Jose on May 5.
  • “There is no getting away from how disappointing as to lose a game at home. We certainly felt if we could win we'd be in a fantastic position given everything moving through players missing and such forth,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle. “It was a letdown. There's no getting away from that. I felt offensively I mean we created I think enough opportunities and we cannot defend in the manner we did. That's what happened.”
  • “For players it's disappointing. This is one of those games where I think it could be a turning point for us at home. Puts us right in a playoff spot. It comes down to mentality and toughness for the group and I don't think we were all there. We even had chances to get ourselves back in,” said Brad Davis. “Like Owen said I think we're a bit fragile after that, and we can't do that – we have to be able to win these games. We have to be able to win these games at home and we have to win games on the road.”
  • Said Will Bruin: “I'm disappointed we didn't get three points this time. Next week we know we can't say that any more. It's getting down to the nitty-gritty. You can't just say next week, you can't have performances like that. We're not going to be in the playoffs if we perform like that. I mean there's no more saying 'there's next time,' we have to bring it every game.”
  • Davis netted his second goal in the last three games, both conversions of penalty kicks. They are the first two penalty goals scored by the Dynamo this season (they failed on their first two penalty kick attempts).
  • AJ Cochran returned to the starting lineup after a one-game absence, coming in at left back. It was his fourth league start this season, all over the last eight games; he made 14 starts a year ago in his rookie MLS season.
  • Ricardo Clark made a second consecutive start in the Dynamo off of a four-game absence, playing the full 90 minutes for the first time since July 18.
  • “I don't think we played as urgent as we needed to. We can't put performances like that out there in the last six games of the year now. That's not going to cut it. That's not going to get in the playoffs and that point needs to get across everybody. That's pretty much all I can say,” said Bruin.