Match Preview: Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew SC

Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew SC
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 6:30 p.m. CT
MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

KUBE 57 - 6:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
610 AM / Radio.com app - 6:00 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 6:00 p.m.

A pair of clubs aiming to begin moves up their respective conference tables after slow starts meet when Columbus Crew SC play host to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Mapfre Stadium. Crew SC are coming off their first victory of the 2016 season after six matches, knocking off New York City FC 3-2 last weekend in their return home. The Dynamo have seen their winless stretch extended to four games, coming off a 4-1 home loss to the LA Galaxy last Friday at BBVA Compass Stadium.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): Danny Thornberry; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 279 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 69; pens: 72


HOUSTON DYNAMO—DOUBTFUL: Rob Lovejoy – Left hamstring strain

COLUMBUS CREW SCQUESTIONABLE: Harrison Afful — Right calf strain; Corey Ashe — Left thigh strain; Gaston Sauro — Left hamstring strain; Tony Tchani — Right calf strain;


  • ALL-TIME (21 meetings): Crew SC 6 wins, 28 goals … Dynamo 5 wins, 23 goals … Ties 10
  • AT COLUMBUS (10 meetings): Crew SC 5 wins, 18 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 4
  • LAST YEAR (MLS): 3/7: HOU 1, CLB 0 (Barnes 66)
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Dynamo won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 1-0 win March 7 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The road team has not won in the series since 2011, when the Crew claimed a 2-0 victory at Robertson Stadium in Houston. It is one of just two wins for the away team all-time in 20 meetings between the clubs.
  • The Crew have not lost to the Dynamo in Columbus since June 10, 2007, a 2-1 Houston victory. Since then, the Crew have won five of the eight meetings at home, with three draws.
  • Coaches record: Owen Coyle vs. CLB: P1 W1 L0 D0 … Gregg Berhalter vs. NYC: P4 W1 L2 D1

The Houston Dynamo saw their winless streak stretched to four matches, falling 4-1 to the LA Galaxy on Friday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in 10th place in the Western Conference with 5 points from 6 games.


  • The Dynamo took the lead in the first minute. A short corner kick eventually resulted in a cross into the box by Alex, with defender David Horst waiting at the back post and heading it home.
  • But the Galaxy were level just three minutes later when a defensive mix-up from the Dynamo freed Giovani dos Santos to race in alone on goal and he put a low shot past Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis. A misplayed clearance in the 21st minute led to the Galaxy second, when Baggio Husidic buried a ball bouncing around in the 6-yard box.
  • The lead was 3-1 just 10 minutes later when Steven Gerrard played a ball diagonally across the field up to dos Santos, who took the ball inside the box and eluded a defender with a nifty move before finishing his shot emphatically.
  • Gyasi Zardes finished the scoring four minutes after the break, from a tap-in off Sebastian Lletget's low cross.
  • Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle made no change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis - Jalil Anibaba, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley - Alex, Ricardo Clark - Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 57), Cristian Maidana (Boniek Garcia 57), Giles Barnes - Will Bruin (Erick Torres 57).


  • The Dynamo had their winless run extended to four games with the defeat by the Galaxy, the third in that streak. The Dynamo lost for the first time in four games this season at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • “We’re still capable of producing goals. But we’ve got to shut the back door. That’s got to be the platform for winning games. We want to be entertaining, we want to be fun to watch but we want to be winning games. And you cannot be winning games when you’re giving up goals the way that we did tonight,” said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle. “It’s something we have to look at as a group, and look to get better at. We can’t look to score four goals every week to win a game. We’ve shown the standard that we can get to but it’s got to be on a consistent basis.”
  • The Dynamo conceded four goals for a second time this season, the third time this season they’ve allowed three goals or more in a game. The Dynamo have allowed 13 goals in six games, third-most in MLS this season.
  • “I felt the goals we conceded, every one of them, were very avoidable with better pacing defensively. That’s hard to take,” said Coyle. “If somebody comes and they score good clean, wonderful team goals and they score some special goals from outside the box, then we can accept that. That’s nowhere near good enough, for the standard that we’re looking for, that we set in previous games.”
  • The Dynamo netted a single goal for a second consecutive game, having scored two goals over the last three games after scoring a record 11 goals in their first three games.
  • “We still need that zip and that high energy. We had it at different times but not to the sustained level that we’ve had before. Sometimes you have six or seven players that play to that level and the others are below,” said Coyle. “Giles (Barnes), my captain, never got to his level, and none of them got to the standard that they’re capable of. And that ultimately hurts you with respect to your attack play, your offensive play, as well as your defensive play.”
  • David Horst scored his second goal of the season, a single-season career-high already after six games this season. Horst had scored two goals in 105 career appearances in his first eight MLS seasons heading into the 2016 season.
  • Coyle ran out the same starting XI for a second consecutive match, the second time this season he’s kept an unchanged team in back-to-back matches. The Dynamo have had 14 different players start over the first six matches.
  • “I think it’s fair to say there will be changes but I learned a long time ago, because games are played on Saturdays, that you never pick your team on a Saturday night,” said Coyle. “… If I had 11 substitutes at halftime, I would have changed them. But we gave them five minutes or so, with the intention of bringing the three boys on straight away. I know there are good players in that locker room but there’s got to be that strength of character, that mentality.”
  • Cristian Maidana collected his first assist of the season, his first since coming to the Dynamo, the first goal he was involved in since scoring the club’s first goal of the season.