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 Wednesdays on KGOW 1560 AM) and Soccer Matters (Tuesdays 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. Saturday's match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets are still available. The game will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS Southwest and TeleXitos (channel guide).
Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo stayed in the playoff race with a 1-0 win over rivals Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. It was one of the best defensive performances of the season, with Sporting KC's vaunted attack limited to only eight shots and virtually no outright scoring chances. What did you think of the Dynamo performance on Wednesday?
Glenn Davis: Excellent defensive performance coming off of the Philadelphia loss. The first half was uneventful for the Dynamo and SKC, with no real goal chances, but what the Dynamo did was re-establish their team shape, played mistake free, and took the edge off of Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer and company. Clearly we saw the influence of experienced pros back in the lineup with DaMarcus Beasley, Raul Rodriguez and Boniek Garcia all returning. The second half the Dynamo added attack to their game and got the vital goal through Will Bruin. Contending with the sending off to Garcia, and managing the game out professionally and without angst or nerves, was a great plus. It was a solid night to keep themselves in the hunt.
MP: Boniek Garcia made his first start at right back in his Dynamo career and seemed to shut down his side of the field before the red card. Rasheed Olabiyi made his first start at home and frustrated Benny Feilhaber throughout the night. What did you think of Garcia's performance and can you see him at right back on a more permanent basis, into next season? How do you rate Olabiyi's performance?
GD: The performance from Boniek Garcia at right back was not a surprise to me. He was responsible and dependable defensively, and when he wins the ball he can initiate the attack with his great skill set or by running it out of there. He controlled that side of the field beautifully in combination with Leonel Miranda, who brought a strong work ethic. He has made this position an option for himself, but it is not a surprise to me. Olabiyi grew into the game beautifully – let’s not forget he only played 80 minutes prior to the full 90 in this match. His work was important and he has fired a warning shot that he wants to partner Ricardo Clark in that area of the field. Olabiyi had a solid performance that might only get better as he gets more comfortable. Maybe he can bring some "Nigerian Super Eagles" fans to the game that live in our international city!
MP: Will Bruin scored his 11th goal of the season and is now two goals shy of Brian Ching for the club's single season record. What have you seen from the fifth-year forward this season?
GD: I will say this: Will Bruin has grown as a soccer player this year. He is out of the comfort zone and by stretching his game, he is more dangerous. Even in interviews, he is a more confident, assured man. His work ethic has grown exponentially this year in the tough role of a lone striker for many games. He has shown accountability, which I believe the fans respect immensely! When that driven work ethic is there for larger time periods of matches, he is more dangerous! To get the best out of Will Bruin, the wide game, and Giles Barnes, must be on. As a lone striker, he has to play with his back to goal a lot, yet must balance that with looking for the ball behind defenses. Four game-winners and eleven on the year must be respected!
MP: The Rapids play the lowest-scoring games in the league, with the fewest goals scored (27) and the third-fewest goals conceded (33) through 29 games this season. The Dynamo have scored just two goals in three games against Colorado this year. How can the Dynamo do a better job to break the Rapids down in the fourth meeting this season?
GD: I go straight to having a great game in wide areas. Widen the game out, beat people off the dribble or through combination play in wide areas, get movement and mobility to force the Rapids’ center backs to come out of the middle. Flash back to DaMarcus Beasley and the Dynamo goal against Sporting KC. Width and penetration are essential to get defenses out of the comfort zone. Get those center backs pulled out of the middle and the night can be a success. Shooting from longer range, to show an opponent you are capable and willing, is also important and circulating the ball quickly while recognizing moments to go forward with no fear! The quicker you can get the ball to your wide men, the more space they will have and can likely get isolated 1v1.
MP: Kevin Doyle is out for the second straight game with an adductor injury. Argentinian forward Luis Solignac is a candidate to start in his place for a second straight game. Do you think the Rapids attack changes much without Doyle, who scored the game-winner against the Dynamo last month?
GD: Yes, Doyle is wily and experienced. He is a loss for the Rapids.
MP: Vicente Sanchez has enjoyed a long career in some of the top leagues and with the Uruguay national team. He is 35, but can still greatly influence a game. What kind of impact can Sanchez still have on a game?
GD: Given time and space like the last match in Colorado, Sanchez can hurt you. You must not allow him to get his head up, when he can still make space for himself to make plays over a few yards. He impacted the last match; let’s hope he doesn't this Saturday. Sanchez may walk the streets in the U.S. unrecognized, but in Mexico he is "god like", having played for Toluca and Club America. Incidentally, he spent time at Schalke in Germany with Manuel Neuer, now at Bayern Munich, and U.S. international Jermaine Jones.