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MLS Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union
Saturday, July 2, 2016, 7:45 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Tickets

BROADCAST INFORMATION
UniMás 67 - 8:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
650 AM / Radio.com app- 8:00 p.m. (7:30 p.m. pregame)
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 8:00 p.m. (7:30 p.m. pregame)

PREVIEW
Clubs at opposite ends of their respective conference tables meet for the only time this season in league play when the Houston Dynamo play host to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo suffered a defeat for the first time with Wade Barrett last time out, a 3-2 loss at the Portland Timbers, leaving them at the foot of the Western Conference. Union remain atop the East, though their long home undefeated streak came to an end in a 3-2 defeat by Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Talen Energy Stadium.

REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): Mike Rottersman; AR2 (opposite): Andrew Bigelow; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 100 games; FC/gm: 22.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 22; pens: 20

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of June 21)

HOUSTON DYNAMO—QUESTIONABLE: Rob Lovejoy – right ankle; Giles Barnes – right Achilles tendinopathy;

PHILADELPHIA UNION—OUT: Maurice Edu – left tibia stress fracture; Sebastien Le Toux – concussion; QUESTIONABLE: C.J. Sapong – left ankle; Fabian Herbers – right hamstring;

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (13 meetings): Dynamo 5 wins, 14 goals … Union 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 4
  • AT HOUSTON (6 meetings): Dynamo 4 wins, 10 goals … Union 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Union won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 2-0 victory Aug. 20 in Chester, snapping a sixgame winless streak vs. Dynamo. Union are undefeated in the last three meetings at Talen Energy Stadium; two scoreless draws came in 2014.
  • The Dynamo have won the last four meetings at BBVA Compass Stadium, after Union won on their first two visits ever to Houston.
  • Coaches record: Wade Barrett vs. PHI: first game … Jim Curtin vs. HOU: P3 W1 L1 T1

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo suffered a first defeat with Wade Barrett in charge after three draws, falling late by a 3-2 scoreline to the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. The Dynamo are in 10th place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 16 games.

LAST GAME

  • The Dynamo opened the scoring in the 28th minute, when Andrew Wenger slotted home a shot from a tight angle from the right side of the box. Two minutes later, Houston doubled its lead when forward Will Bruin latched on to forward Boniek Garcia’s pass into the area, tucking his effort inside the left post.
  • The Timbers began their comeback in the 63rd minute, when Lucas Melano made a well-timed diagonal run in behind the Dynamo defense, running on to a carefully placed pass from Diego Valeri then tucking his effort past Houston goalkeeper Joe Willis.
  • The equalizer came in the 82nd minute of play after defender David Horst was adjudged to have handled in the box and Valeri stepped up to the spot, blasting his attempt into the top left corner. The winner then came in stoppage time, also from the penalty spot, after Melano was brought down by Willis inside the area and Valeri chipped his effort down the middle as Willis dove right.
  • Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett made one change to the team that reached a goalless result with D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. Alex started in the midfield in place of Cristian Maidana.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-4-1): Tyler Deric (Joe Willis 46) - Jalil Anibaba, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, DaMarcus Beasley - Collen Warner - Andrew Wenger (Cristian Maidana 76), Ricardo Clark, Alex, Boniek Garcia - Will Bruin (Mauro Manotas 84).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo saw their overall winless run extended to five matches in the loss to the Timbers, Wade Barrett suffering a defeat for the first time after taking the coaching reins, following three consecutive draws.
  • The loss was the seventh in nine road matches for the Dynamo this season, one of five teams still without a victory on their travels. It extended the Dynamo’s road winless streak to 17 games overall, dating back to last July.
  • “We did a pretty good job in the first half, minus a couple of instances. We talked about it. We talked about not getting pushed too deep and making sure that we had good pressure on the ball, much like we did in the first half, but it’s tough,” said Barrett. “They’re a good opponent. It’s tough to maintain and do it for 90 minutes. We still had guys fighting. We were a little bit off on a couple of things, but it just didn’t go in our favor.”
  • Andrew Wenger scored his fourth goal of the season, his first since May 7. Wenger has started every league match for the Dynamo this season.
  • Will Bruin netted his fourth goal of the season, his first since March 19, a span of 13 league games, when he scored his first three goals over the opening three games of the year.
  • “I think we performed very well in that first half. We had that 2-0 lead. We talked about it at halftime. I think 2-0 leads are the most dangerous leads in soccer, especially on the road,” said Bruin. “The game got too stretched. That’s what Portland wanted. I think we learned from that and we don’t need to make it a track meet. We don’t need to open it up when we’re up 2-0, but that’s something we’ll work on next week.”
  • Boniek Garcia assisted on both Dynamo goals, his second two-assist game of the season, and his fourth career multiple-assist game in MLS. Garcia was making a fourth consecutive start, his third game in a row playing the full 90 minutes.
  • Joe Willis came on as a halftime substitute in place of Tyler Deric between the posts, the second time this season Willis has replaced Deric during a match. It was the third time Deric did not finish a game he started, sent off on the other two occasions.
  • On Wednesday, the Dynamo advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 win against Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mauro Manotas scored a pair of goals, one early and one late, with Alex adding a third as the holders were eliminated from the competition.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Joe Willis; Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Agus, Abdoulie Mansally (Jalil Anibaba 46); David Rocha, Alex, Andrew Wenger (Boniek Garcia 77), Cristian Maidana (Collen Warner 67), Leonel Miranda; Mauro Manotas