We preview tonight’s game at FC Dallas with Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis. Tonight’s match will air live on ROOT Sports Southwest, with pregame coverage starting at 7:30 p.m. CDT and kickoff set for 8:00 p.m. Davis, a former professional player can be seen on national soccer broadcasts on ESPN and FOX and hosts the Soccer Matters radio show. Look for more daily soccer content from Davis on his Soccer Matters Facebook page and Twitter.
Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo responded well to last week’s coaching change, gaining a point at Vancouver with only two days to prepare following the sudden departure of head coach Owen Coyle. What did you make of the team performance as well as the coaching of Wade Barrett, with help from Paul Caffrey and Paul Rogers?
Glenn Davis: The players were determined and spirited, that’s for sure. It was a difficult situation for the managers, but I think the due diligence was done. It was the first result of the year on the road and will be positioned as a positive. It was clearly a game of two halves. The Dynamo got some excellent moments off the interplay of Alex, Beasley and Boniek on the left that led to a wonderful goal. The second half, after the sending off of Alex and (Pedro) Morales, was all Whitecaps, but the spirit remained. The Dynamo need to produce special plays on the road and got that via the goal and Tyler Deric’s shot stopping.
MP: Do you expect similar tactics and mentality from the Dynamo on Thursday? It is another short turnaround and an opponent that plays a similar style as Vancouver.
GD: I expect the Dynamo to build off a similar purpose of play and team shape. Wade Barrett knows of the obvious danger of Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz and will put a plan in place to dull their swords. Thinking ahead positionally will be critical prior to the ball being lost. The better transition game between the two teams will go a long way towards winning the game.
MP: Tyler Deric had an impressive showing at Vancouver, with six saves, including a few vital stops in the second half. What qualities does the Houston native bring when he is on?
GD: I think this was his most comfortable match of the year and he was brilliant. He was a presence, made special plays and has rebounded from a tough start this year. The past is the past now for Tyler Deric.
MP: DaMarcus Beasley produced a vital road goal and wore the captain’s armband on Saturday. It seems when he is on the Dynamo attack really thrives. What can he do for the Dynamo from his left back position?
GD: He has to be one of the top players game-in and game-out in order to get value out of all his experience, talent, and know-how. DaMarcus still is remarkable as an athlete. This team is dying for him to produce more performances like Vancouver when you just can't stop talking about him and his influence and imposition on the game.
MP: FC Dallas has a varied attack, with Fabian Castillo, Mauro Diaz, Maxi Urruti expected to play tonight and others who will be unavailable due to injury or international duty. What challenges will FC Dallas present from a defensive perspective?
GD: Individuals that can create their own chances and chances for others. Blazing pace and quickness, speed of thought and the ability to do the unpredictable. They can change a game in the blink of an eye. These guys love to go to goal!
MP: Matt Hedges is back for FC Dallas after a meniscus injury earlier this season. He was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year last season and seems to be a big part of Dallas’ success the last two years. What qualities does he bring?
GD: He is big, intimidates, is good in the air and has developed into a center back that makes an impression. It was a quick recovery from the meniscus injury. He has a long stride, can cover ground and has the ability to cover others laterally, which is essentially. He has some comparisons to former Dynamo Geoff Cameron physically.
MP: The Copa America Centenario starts Friday. How do you think the U.S. and Mexico will do? Any players you’re excited to watch?
GD: You mean the two "home" teams. Yes, being in front of partisan crowds will be an advantage and of course the U.S. will need it in their group. I do like the freshness that the U.S. and Jurgen Klinsmann has brought with Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood, Darlington Nagbe and others. They have a solid back five in Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron and DeAndre Yedlin with Michael Bradley defined in front that can be the platform of consistency that can help this squad in the tournament. It is a great challenge and moment to energize!
As for Mexico, I see them going very far with a squad of experience and being supported by their fan base. They always live up to playing well against the likes of Argentina and Brazil. A big moment for their manager Juan Carlos Osorio. Let’s see how the squads handle the pressure of this 100-year-old tournament! I am so excited to see it get started with the U.S. and Colombia and Houston being a host city! The eyes of the world will be on Houston!