MLS Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo
Saturday, March 26, 2016, 9:00 p.m. CT
BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia

650 AM / Radio.com app - 8:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 8:30 p.m.

It’s a meeting of high-fliers in the Western Conference when Vancouver Whitecaps FC entertain the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BC Place. Whitecaps FC got into the win column in the new season with yet another victory at arch-rival Seattle Sounders FC, this time a 2-1 victory last weekend. The Dynamo suffered their first defeat of the campaign in yet another goalfest, falling 4-3 at the New York Red Bulls last Saturday evening.

REFEREE: David Gantar. AR1 (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 40 games; FC/gm: 25.7; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 17; pens: 7


HOUSTON DYNAMO—OUT: Collen Warner – Bi-lateral hamstring strain; Tyler Deric – R abdominal strain; DOUBTFUL: Giles Barnes – R hamstring; QUESTIONABLE: Cristian Maidana — Concussion

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC–OUT: Christian Dean — Left foot surgery; Ben McKendry — Left knee surgery; Russell Teibert — Left calf strain

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: VAN: Tim Parker (USA U-23; vs. Colombia U-23 3/25, 3/29); Cristian Bolaños; Kendall Waston (Costa Rica; vs. Jamaica 3/25, 3/29); Blas Perez (Panama; at Haiti 3/25, 3/29); Marco Bustos, Marco Carducci (Canada U-20) ... HOU: Boniek Garcia (Honduras; vs. El Salvador 3/25, 3/29); Erick Torres (Mexico U-23)


  • ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Whitecaps FC 4 wins, 11 goals … Dynamo 3 wins, 9 goals … Ties 0
  • AT VANCOUVER (4 meetings): Whitecaps FC 4 wins, 9 goals … Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • RETURN MATCHES: 5/28: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 3 p.m. PT; 7/23: Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:30 p.m. CT
  • LAST YEAR (MLS): 8/29: HOU 2, VAN 0 (Clark 34; R. Rodriguez 87); 10/25 VAN 3, HOU 0 (Manneh 59; Waston 72; Earnshaw 93+)
  • In seven meetings all-time between the clubs, the home team has won each, including in both meetings between the teams a year ago. Whitecaps FC won the last meeting between the clubs, a 3-0 win at BC Place on Decision Day last year, their third home win in the series.
  • The Dynamo have won both meetings all-time at BBVA Compass Stadium, including a 2-0 win last Aug. 29, in their three home wins in the all-time series.
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. VAN: P2 W1 L1 T0 … Carl Robinson vs. HOU: P3 W2 L1 T0

The Houston Dynamo went down to their first defeat of the new season in a wild affair, falling 4-3 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Dynamo are in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 4 points from 3 games.


  • The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, when Sacha Kljestan corraled a loose ball in the box and fired home from an angle.
  • But the Dynamo were in front before halftime, as Will Bruin scored twice, in the 35th and 41st minutes. Bruin first got behind the Red Bulls defense to race onto a Boniek Garcia pass and slot under goalkeeper Luis Robles, then he took advantage of a poor defensive touch and drive home.
  • The Red Bulls pulled level in the 63rd minute when Mike Grella was able to get his foot in front of an attempted goal line clearance and deflect the ball back into the net. But the Dynamo were back up two minutes later when Alex got the ball just outside the box and struck a low shot that beat Robles inside the right post.
  • Felipe tied the game in the 78th minute with a curling strike from some 20 yards out on the left side of the penalty area. He then followed that up with a fantastic free kick from the right side of the box six minutes later, launching a strike that again beat Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis to the top right corner.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made two changes to the team that rolled to a 5-0 win against FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium. Boniek Garcia and Leonel Miranda came into the team, in place of Cristian Maidana and Giles Barnes.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis - Jalil Anibaba, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley - Alex (Erick Torres 85), Ricardo Clark - Andrew Wenger, Boniek Garcia, Leonel Miranda (David Rocha 73) - Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 78).


  • The Dynamo have scored 11 goals through their first three games – the most of any team in MLS history after three games – after suffering their first defeat of the campaign in the 4-3 loss at the Red Bulls.
  • It was also a second match where the Dynamo conceded multiple goals – their seven goals allowed is secondmost in MLS this season (New York Red Bulls, 8). A year ago, the Dynamo had five matches where they allowed three goals or more.
  • “We can't go from a shot last week to losing four goals tonight, albeit a couple of special goals within that. … Disappointing, of course, not to get any points from the game. And we'll take huge pointers from that going forward,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle. “That's 11 goals in three games, but equally we need to address it regardless of the quality of the opposition we played against.”
  • Will Bruin scored a pair of goals – his eighth career multiple-goal game in MLS. Bruin scored three goals in a row for the Dynamo – the final goal in the win at FC Dallas, then the first two at Red Bull Arena.
  • “We know we have the firepower to go out and score, but we have to tighten up defensively and that starts up front. We need to make sure we are tight and compacted and hard to play against because when we get stretched, teams in this league love that, and every team in this league has players that can go out and hurt you,” said Bruin.
  • Boniek Garcia added a pair of assists – his third career multiple-assist game in MLS – in making his first start of the league season. Garcia had come off the substitutes’ bench the previous two matches.
  • “I think we could have passed the ball and moved the ball better in the second half, and how we could have certainly lessened the pressure that was on us at different times by doing that,” said Coyle. “Again, the result was just for ourselves because even then, the spirit they have up 4-3, and they could win the game with plus strikes, and we had one chance to equalize and it smashed off the lad's face in the last seconds. … It was exciting, but we certainly don't want to keep adding to the gray hairs I've got. Some fantastic games, but when all is said and done, the important thing is we have to have enough points to push ourselves into those playoffs.”
  • Leonel Miranda also made his first start of the season, playing 73 minutes in a wide midfield role. Miranda made his season debut the week before, coming off the substitutes’ bench just before halftime.
  • Houston has scored three-plus goals in three consecutive MLS matches for the first time since Sept. 8-30, 2007. The Dynamo have never accomplished the feat in four consecutive MLS games.