MLS Preview: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake

Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 8:30 p.m. CT
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah

KUBE 57 - 8:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
650 AM / Radio.com app- 8:00 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 8:00 p.m.

A key contest in the Western Conference playoff picture kicks off when Real Salt Lake take on the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real return home in fourth place in the conference, sitting six points above the red line, following their 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers last weekend. The Dynamo sit at the foot of the West table, 12 points behind sixth-place Portland, despite coming back for a dramatic 3-3 draw at Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Gianni Facchini; AR2 (opposite): Cameron Blanchard; 4th: Alex Chilowicz
MLS Career: 119 games; FC/gm: 27.6; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 18; pens: 27


HOUSTON DYNAMO—OUT: Tyler Deric – left elbow sprain; Agus – left knee sprain; Rob Lovejoy – left hamstring strain

REAL SALT LAKE—OUT: Emery Welshman – hip flexor; Aaron Maund – foot; QUESTIONABLE: Javier Morales – quadriceps; Olmes Garcia – adductor; PROBABLE: Chris Schuler – soreness; Jordan Allen – adductor; Justen Glad – hamstring


  • ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Real 8 wins, 35 goals … Dynamo 10 wins, 31 goals … Ties 5
  • AT SALT LAKE (11 meetings): Real 6 wins, 13 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 4
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, splitting the first two. Jordan Allen netted a second-half equalizer, then set up Yura Movsisyan for the game-winner for a 2-1 RSL victory April 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium; on May 15, Giles Barnes scored the game’s lone goal for a Dynamo victory in a match delayed a day by weather at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Dynamo win in the last meeting snapped a five-game Real winning streak in the series, dating back to 2013. It also ended a two-game RSL winning streak in Houston – their first wins ever there. They suffered eight defeats and one draw in their first nine road games against the Dynamo. RSL has taken points from their last eight home games vs. Houston, with five victories in that time.
  • Coaches record: Jeff Cassar vs. HOU: P5 W4 L1 T0 … Wade Barrett vs. RSL: first game

5/15: HOU 1, RSL 0 (Barnes 65)

  • The game, postponed to Sunday afternoon due to inclement weather the day before, finally had its breakthrough in the 65th minute. A punt from Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis downfield bounced through a group of players, with Giles Barnes running onto the ball before taking it down and slotting it past RSL 'keeper Jeff Attinella.
  • Willis was credited with two saves in keeping the clean sheet for Houston.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis - Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Agus, DaMarcus Beasley - Alex, Ricardo Clark - Andrew Wenger (Leonel Miranda 67), Cristian Maidana, Giles Barnes (Will Bruin 90) - Erick Torres (Boniek Garcia 77).
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-2-1-3): Jeff Attinella - Tony Beltran, Justen Glad, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert (Jordan Allen 75) - John Stertzer (Luke Mulholland 74), Kyle Beckerman - Javier Morales - Juan Manuel Martinez (Olmes Garcia 82), Yura Movsisyan, Joao Plata.

The Houston Dynamo saw their undefeated run come to an end after three matches in their last match, FC Dallas hitting back for a 3-1 win Aug. 27 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in 10th place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 26 games.


  • The hosts opened the scoring 14 minutes in. Jacob Peterson put a blast on goal which was saved by Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis. Dom Dwyer attempted to score on the rebound, but that effort was blocked, before Peterson made no mistake with his second attempt.
  • Roger Espinoza doubled the lead 12 minutes later, as he stole the ball in the Dynamo end before unleashing a rocket from outside of the box to beat Willis.
  • But the Dynamo were level with goals on either side of halftime. Mauro Manotas scored his first career MLS goal after receiving a nice through ball from Boniek Garcia and finishing with a bouncing shot inside the left post on the half-hour. The leveler came just before the hour mark when Alex latched onto a ball bounding in the box and drove it home.
  • Sporting regained the lead in the final minutes, as Dwyer put home a left-footed shot from a corner kick routine in the 81st minute. But the Dynamo had one final answer, Raul Rodriguez scoring the final equalizer on the last touch of the game, heading a free kick sent in from the right off the bar and the back of goalkeeper Alec Kann before settling in the goal.
  • Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett made two changes to the team that suffered a 3-1 loss to FC Dallas at BBVA Compass Stadium. DaMarcus Beasley came into the back four for Agus, and Ricardo Clark started in the midfield in place of Eric Alexander.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-4-1): Joe Willis - Sheanon Williams, Raul Rodriguez, Jalil Anibaba, DaMarcus Beasley (Keyner Brown 76) - Collen Warner (Will Bruin 83) - Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Alex, Cristian Maidana (Eric Alexander 80) - Mauro Manotas.


  • The Dynamo had their winless run extended to three matches, with a second draw in that time, with the result at Sporting. The Dynamo have one win in their last 10 league matches.
  • “I know where we are in the standings, but every single game matters to me,” interim head coach Wade Barrett said. “I told them at halftime, ‘Maybe it's a foregone conclusion that this game's going to be a loss for us. Maybe it is. I don't know.’ ... I sure as hell want to have – I want the players to do it in the right way. I told them, 'You know what? I don't know if the result really matters at this point, but the fight and the character that we have the potential to show in the second half, that matters to me.’ ”
  • The Dynamo scored three goals, the most they’ve hit for in a league game this season since scoring 11 goals in the opening games of the season (3-3 vs. New England; 5-0 vs. Dallas; 3-4 vs. Red Bulls) – the MLS record for goals in three games to start the season.
  • “The one thing I still feel like we're missing – and it's happened in many games – is that killer instinct,” Barrett said. “You guys saw the game, too. We had a couple of very good chances at 2-2, around 60 and 65 minutes. We had a few chances. I say when you get your foot on somebody's throat, when you get on top of a team, you have to have a result. Now, we got the two goals, but we should have had more.”
  • Mauro Manotas scored his first career MLS goal, in his 24 career appearance. Manotas was making a second consecutive start, playing the full 90 minutes as the lone out-and-out striker, his fourth start over the last five matches, his first MLS starts this season after 11 substitute appearances.
  • “One of Kansas City's biggest strengths is the pressure they put on, and when they get it right it's really difficult to beat. We talked about the opportunity to get behind. That's the one thing, you want to try to use their strength and turn it into a weakness so we wanted to try to get Mauro in behind their defense and we got him in a couple times,” said Barrett. “He's had those chances against a couple teams, but for whatever reason they have gone in against Kansas City. I won't ask too many questions about it. I'm just glad it happened.”
  • Boniek Garcia collected a pair of assists, now with eight assists for the season, a single-season career-high in his five MLS campaigns, surpassing his total of six set in 2012 and ’13. It was the fifth two-assist game of Garcia’s MLS career, his third this season (also: March 19 vs. Red Bulls; June 26 vs. Portland).
  • Raúl Rodriguez scored his first goal of the season, the third in his two MLS campaigns. All three of his goals in the league have come after the 83rd minute, and two have been the tying or go-ahead goal in games where the Dynamo have reached late draws.
  • “I'm disappointed they got the third goal, but still pleased with the fight the guys showed. It's happened to us a couple times this year. I know it doesn't feel good to have that goal go in right at the end like that, but for us, we haven't had it go in that way for us so it felt good to get that last goal,” Barrett said.
  • Alex scored a goal for a second consecutive match, now with four goals for the season, his MLS single-season career-high. Alex has three goals in his last six matches, dating back to July 31.
  • DaMarcus Beasley made his first start and league appearance since July 8, coming in at left back and playing 76 minutes, after missing eight matches through injury.
  • Keyner Brown made his MLS and Dynamo debut, coming on as a substitute for the final 14 minutes.