Continuing a new feature at HoustonDynamo.com, we preview the upcoming game with Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis. 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. Sunday's match kicks off at 4 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo overcame a resolute Colorado Rapids team for a crucial 3-2 win on Saturday. Will Bruin was overpowering on his way to two assists, and Giles Barnes, Leonel Miranda and Brad Davis each scored in the home win. What were your impressions of the game?
Glenn Davis: First and foremost, it was great entertainment for the fans that came out at BBVA. I thought this was one of the most emotionally connected nights at the stadium we have seen this year. Cooler weather, playoff urgency, and a quick turn around for the Dynamo all were factors. As much as team shape and game management was applauded on Wednesday (playing a man down), the Dynamo lost some of that on this night, but found a way to produce some great goals and inspired play. The Dynamo got some huge late saves from Tyler Deric to preserve the win and optimism!! Vicente Sanchez at 35, the former Toluca star, was also a great watch from the opponent’s perspective. A reminder that entertaining football does not have to be perfect!
MP: Owen Coyle called it Bruin’s best performance this season. He seemed to set the tone for the team from the opening whistle, knocking Jared Watts off the ball in the third minute to launch Miranda’s scoring play. How contagious can it be for a team to have the forward leading the line in a physical way? Is this another element Bruin has now enhanced in his game this season?
GD: Will Bruin was a forward that affected the game, and that is all you can ask for. Yes, he did not score, but he was vital. Opponents were bouncing off him and his effort was there for all to see and follow. I loved him shaking off Jared Watts, running over Sean St. Ledger, but along with this determination was leadership and excellent soccer moments. His rise this year has, I believe, been prompted by Owen Coyle, a former striker himself who has helped him get out of the comfort zone. Remember he was benched earlier in the year a few games and the competition with a stable of strikers, that includes Cubo Torres, is healthy. Healthy pressure works, and Bruin has responded.
MP: Shifting focus to Sunday, FC Dallas has controlled the recent series against the Dynamo, winning the last six meetings. Oscar Pareja’s team has had a consistent season, rotating lineups and getting major contributions from young players. What are your thoughts on Dallas’ season, and overall superiority against the Dynamo since 2013?
GD: Their overall team speed has hurt the Dynamo over the last few years. They have been a difficult match up and bring youth, experience and game breakers with Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios and Blas Perez. Tesho Akindele was a great draft choice and brings power and pace. Their youth policy has reaped benefits and they have not been afraid to "blood" newbies who inherently will make some mistakes in their growth and development. It is a tricky balance to do that and keep your eye on the prize of winning games. All credit to Oscar Pareja, who has a link to these players and confidence.
MP: Fabian Castillo recently made his first appearance with the Colombia national team and was called up again for next week’s CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers. He is now in his fifth year in the league and seems to improve each year, with nine goals and seven assists each campaign. How would you describe his development in Dallas after arriving in 2011? How should the Dynamo approach defending Castillo on Sunday?
GD: Blazing speed and the ability to penetrate makes this player something special. In his early MLS years he could not bring final product, but that has all changed and he is a constant threat to dismantle defenses in a variety of ways. Castillo is an example that if you give players time to adapt in MLS they can rise to the top. It is hard to stay patient in this day and age, and I remember Dallas fans questioning why he was signed as they spent a lot of money to get him. Those days are forgotten, as he is the star attraction in Frisco! To get called up to the FIFA #4 ranked Colombia is again a huge compliment and connection to MLS!
MP: Rasheed Olabiyi made two straight starts in central midfield beside Ricardo Clark, and the Dynamo won both games last week. The Nigerian has bided his time and now has received the opportunity to play. What did you think of his performances and his relationship in midfield with the veteran Clark?
GD: Olabiyi seems to grow with every minute he gets. He only had 80 minutes prior to these two games. He seems dependable, assured, and a nice compliment to Ricardo Clark! Managers are always looking for players to compliment one another. He has done the balancing in midfield over two games and has made an impression.
MP: What makes FC Dallas so effective on the counterattack? Is it simply a good understanding between their playmakers, including Mauro Diaz, Castillo, Tesho Akindele and Blas Perez?
GD: Sure, it's understanding, mentality, and a real belief in the counter attack. You have to believe. You also have to have players that can run and explode out of their own half and they have them in Castillo and Akindele. They can take advantage of opponents in transition (that 2-4 seconds when the ball turns over by thinking quicker) with early recognition of these moments and have the athleticism to do it. They can break out and break out with conviction.
MP: Any other thoughts on the Texas Derby on Sunday?
GD: As above, the Dynamo have to have a great night of going from attack to defense and defense to attack. It must be seamless and quick as a team or FCD will hurt you on the counter attack. I think the Dynamo are going in as a confident side and I am truly looking forward to seeing this Derby and traveling Dynamo fans in Frisco!!!