DL_102515_VAN

Preview: Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Sunday, October 25, 6:00 p.m. CT
BC Place, Vancouver, B.C.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS - 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. pregame) CHANNEL LISTINGS
ESPN3 - 6:00 p.m. (Houston blackout) Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM - 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
A crucial match in the final makeup of the Western Conference placing for the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs takes place at BC Place on Decision Day when Vancouver Whitecaps FC play host to the Houston Dynamo. Whitecaps FC have already secured their ticket to the postseason, but they can still finish anywhere from first place to sixth in the division, their league winless streak extended to five games last time out in a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas. The Dynamo saw their playoff dreams put to an end last weekend, reaching a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at BBVA Compass Stadium.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Kyle Atkins; 4th: Nima Saghafi
MLS Career: 275 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 69; pens: 71

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of Friday, October 23)

HOUSTON DYNAMO – QUESTIONABLE: Nathan Sturgis (left hip pointer); Jermaine Taylor (right quad tear)

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: Caleb Clarke (left hamstring strain); Ben McKendry (left knee surgery for a meniscal tear); QUESTIONABLE: Pedro Morales (right hamstring strain); SUSPENDED: Pa-Modou Kah (caution accumulation)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 8 goals ... Dynamo 3 wins, 9 goals ...Ties 0
  • AT VANCOUVER (3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 6 goals ... Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals ... Ties 0
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Ricardo Clark and Raul Rodriguez scored goals as the Dynamo claimed a 2-0 win Aug. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • In six meetings all-time between the clubs, the home team has won each. Whitecaps FC won the last meeting between the clubs at BC Place, a 2-1 win March 29, 2014, their third home win in the series. The Dynamo have won both meetings all-time at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Carl Robinson vs. HOU: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Owen Coyle vs. VAN: P1 W1 L0 D0

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo had their playoff hopes dashed, drawing 1-1 with Seattle Sounders FC in their last match, Oct. 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in eighth place in the Western Conference with 42 points from 33 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The opener came in the 65th minute. Brad Davis collected the ball well out from goal, and sent a square pass to an open Ricardo Clark at the top of the box. Clark took a touch, saw Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei cheating to the far post and hit a low shot the other way to give the Dynamo the lead.
  • But the leveler came in the 82nd minute. A corner from Andreas Ivanschitz found its way through several players and reached Obafemi Martins, whose instinctive reaction header from close range knocked the ball into the goal and knocked the Dynamo out of the postseason.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made two changes to the team that fell 4-1 to FC at Toyota Stadium. Sheanon Williams came into the back four for the suspended Raul Rodriguez, and Luis Garrido started in midfield in place of Rasheed Olabiyi.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-1-1): Tyler Deric - Boniek Garcia, David Horst, Sheanon Williams, DaMarcus Beasley - Leonel Miranda (Alex 74), Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido, Brad Davis (Rob Lovejoy 90) - Giles Barnes - Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 87).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo were eliminated from contention for the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs with the draw, their winless run extended to two matches.
  • “There is no doubt it was a season of transition. It was about everything we’re trying to implement in terms of infrastructure. We’re not just trying to build a team. We’re trying to build a club. It’s a 10-year anniversary. I’ve worked with clubs that are 120 and 130 years old. We have to put the fabric in place and keep up with the current trends,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle.
  • Added forward Will Bruin: “For my career, this is my fifth year. My first two years it was MLS Cup both years. Playoffs the third and lost in the Eastern Conference finals then these last two years not making the playoffs. It sucks but that’s the way it goes. I thought we should’ve been in the playoffs to be honest with you. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot of times this year. To still give ourselves a chance coming into the final two games is good. We’re there, we’re right on the cusp of being a contending team but we’ve got to be consistent the whole year.”
  • The draw also ended a two-game winning streak at BBVA Compass Stadium for the Dynamo, finishing the season undefeated in their final three home games.
  • “I thought we were excellent. We were playing against a high quality team. We wanted to finish with a home win. That would have made it 8-1-1 in our last 10 home games,” Coyle said.
  • Ricardo Clark scored a goal for a second consecutive match, adding to his MLS single-season career-high with his eighth goal this season. Clark had never scored more than four goals in an MLS campaign, achieving that each of the last two seasons with the Dynamo.
  • Brad Davis recorded an assist on the Clark goal, his 10th assist of the season. It marks the second consecutive season and seventh time in his MLS career (all over the last 10 years) that Davis has reached double-digits in assists.
  • “Brad’s great when he gets the ball on the wing. Either crossing it or finding the open man for goals. He’s done that on a consistent basis and thankfully I’ve been able to connect with him a couple of times this year and even last year. Credit to him and credit to my teammates for finding me in good positions,” Clark said.
  • Luis Garrido made his first start since Aug. 26, coming into a central midfield role and playing the full 90 minutes. Garrido had made four substitute appearance over the previous six matches.
  • “We have to make sure we’re tighter defensively and not giving up goals. We know we can score goals. The first half, I felt that was as good as we passed the ball all season against a top team. We made them look very ordinary and we dictated control the game,” said Coyle.