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MLS Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution
Sunday, March 6, 2016, 1:45 p.m.
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
TICKETS

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS - 1:30 p.m.
SportsRadio 610 AM / Radio.com app - 1:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 1:30 p.m.

PREVIEW
Having faced each other in back-to-back MLS Cups now a decade ago, the Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution open the 2016 MLS season against each other on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are looking for a return to the MLS Cup Playoffs after missing out for a second consecutive season last year, following an eighth-place finish in the Western Conference. A year removed from another MLS Cup Final appearance, the Revolution saw their campaign end at the Knockout Round last season, following a fifth-place finish in the East.

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; AR2 (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Nima Saghafi
MLS Career: 56 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 15; pens: 27

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of March 3)

HOUSTON DYNAMO–OUT: Collen Warner – Bi-lateral hamstring strain; Sheanon Williams – L hamstring strain; DOUBTFUL: Tyler Deric – R abdominal strain; QUESTIONABLE: Ricardo Clark – R hamstring strain; Rob Lovejoy – R hamstring strain
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION–None.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (21 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 22 goals … Revolution 10 wins, 28 goals … Ties 6
  • AT HOUSTON (10 meetings): Dynamo 3 wins, 10 goals … Revolution 6 wins, 11 goals … Ties 1
  • LAST YEAR (MLS): 8/15: NE 2, HOU 0 (Goncalves 69; Agudelo 88)
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Revolution have a three-game winning streak alive in the all-time series, including a 2-0 victory last Aug. 15 at Gillette Stadium in the only league meeting between the teams. The Revs have won the last two matches between the clubs in Foxborough.
  • The teams have split their four meetings all-time at BBVA Compass Stadium, with the Revolution winning on their last visit to Houston, a 2-1 win Oct. 21, 2014. All-time, the Revolution hold a 6-3-1 record vs. the Dynamo in Houston.
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. NE: P1 W0 L1 T0 … Jay Heaps vs. HOU: P9 W4 L3 T2

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo begin the 2016 season in uncharted waters – after having missed out of the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive year for the first time in the club’s history. Owen Coyle – just the second head coach the club has known – returns to the helm after seeing the club finish in eighth place in the Western Conference in his first season in charge, recording 42 points.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo concluded their preseason preparations with a 2-2 draw with Sporting KC in their final match of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., as Erick Torres hit for his third goal of the preseason.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Calle Brown; Jalil Anibaba (Bradley Bourgeois 86), Raul Rodríguez (Sebastien Ibeagha 86), Agus Garcia (David Horst 46), DaMarcus Beasley (Abdoulie Mansally 73); Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 66), Ricardo Clark (David Rocha 46), Alex Lima (Zack Steinberger 57), Giles Barnes (Erick Torres 73), Cristian Maidana (Boniek Garcia 57); Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 66)
  • “I think we showed great character coming back twice in a game, creating chances and there were a lot of pleasant performances,” Coyle said. “I think that we still have to do better in certain areas but that is what the preseason is for, to build up for the new season. ... Overall very pleased. The fitness levels are high and that gives us a very good sign.”
  • The Dynamo ended their Arizona sojourn with one win in five matches, all against MLS competition. The Revolution and Dynamo also played in the preseason in the Desert Diamond Cup this year, with Teal Bunbury and Steve Neumann netting goals in a 2-1 Revolution win on Feb. 24. Erick Torres scored for Houston.
  • The Dynamo made a major move to start the offseason, acquiring Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger in a trade with Philadelphia Union, then later signed a pair of Spanish second-division products in central midfielder David Rocha and center back Agus.
  • “It was important that we shuffled the deck with the roster heading into 2016,” Dynamo general manager Matt Jordan said. “We were one of the teams in the league that made the most offseason transactions and we like the way the team is shaping up.”
  • The Dynamo also saw Brad Davis’ time with the club come to an end, a club original who was the longest serving player with one MLS team after his 10 consecutive seasons in Houston. Davis went to Sporting Kansas City via trade.
  • “It is a bit different obviously with Brad gone; he’s done great things throughout his career and had great contributions to this club, and he’s been here since the start. Every era comes to an end,” said midfielder Ricardo Clark.
  • The Dynamo have lost just once in their last 10 MLS home games (7-1-2), a stretch which began on May 16, 2015. Houston’s only home loss during this span was on Sept. 12 to Real Salt Lake (1-3).
  • Houston conceded 21 home goals last season, tied with D.C. United for fifth-most in the league
  • It also tied the second-most home goals allowed in a single season in the Dynamo’s MLS history.