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MLS Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy
Sunday, October 16, 2016, 4:15 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

TICKETS AVAILABLE

BROADCAST INFORMATION
ROOT SPORTS - 4:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
650 AM / Radio.com app- 4:00 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM - 4:00 p.m.

PREVIEW
A crucial match in the Final Push for the Playoffs is ahead when the Houston Dynamo entertain the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, returning home after putting an end to a two-game losing slide with a goalless draw with Seattle Sounders FC on the road at midweek. The Galaxy are still trying to nail down home-field advantage in the Knockout Round after booking their postseason ticket last time out, despite a second consecutive loss in a 1-0 defeat by FC Dallas on the road.

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): Apolinar Mariscal; 4th: Rubiel Vazquez
MLS Career: 293 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 71; pens: 77

INJURY REPORT, PRESENTED BY HOUSTON METHODIST (as of October 13)

HOUSTON DYNAMO—OUT: Tyler Deric – left elbow sprain; Agus – left knee sprain

LA Galaxy—OUT: Gyasi Zardes – foot; QUESTIONABLE: Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard; SUSPENDED: Jelle Van Damme (yellow card accumulation)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Dynamo 9 wins, 26 goals … Galaxy 9 wins, 25 goals … Ties 5
  • AT HOUSTON (12 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 16 goals … Galaxy 4 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
  • 2016 (MLS): 4/15: HOU 1, LA 4 (Horst 1 – dos Santos 4, 31; Husidic 21; Zardes 49); 7/15: LA 1, HOU 0 (Gerrard 66)
  • The teams are meeting for a third time this season, and the Galaxy have won the first two. Giovani dos Santos scored a pair of goals and set up a third as the Galaxy claimed a 4-1 win April 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium; Steven Gerrard scored the game’s lone goal in LA’s win July 15 at StubHub Center.
  • The Galaxy win this year was their first ever at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Galaxy’s last win in Houston had come in 2010– at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo had won four consecutive home games in the series.
  • The Galaxy have won the last two meetings at StubHub Center. Their win May 22, 2015 in Carson was LA’s first league victory against the Dynamo since May 25, 2011, ending a five-game league winless run in the series. The Dynamo had won four consecutive league meetings between the teams before a 1-1 draw March 21 in the first meeting last year.
  • Coaches record: Wade Barrett vs. LA: P1 W0 L1 T0 … Bruce Arena vs. HOU: P17 W8 L7 T2

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The Galaxy had a glorious chance to open the scoring early when Dynamo center back David Horst was adjudged to handled the ball in the area in the seventh minute. But Robbie Keane's attempt from the spot missed the goal entirely, sailing right of the target.
  • The lone goal came in the 66th minute, when Robbie Keane broke in on a breakaway, but his shot attempt was blocked by Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis. The rebound fell to Steven Gerrard, who slotted home into an open net with Willis well off his line after making the initial stop.
  • Brian Rowe was credited with making four saves in keeping the clean sheet for the Galaxy.
  • LA GALAXY (4-2-3-1): Brian Rowe - A.J. DeLaGarza, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, David Romney - Baggio Husidic, Jeff Larentowicz - Giovani dos Santos (Sebastian Lletget 89), Steven Gerrard (Mike Magee 80), Gyasi Zardes - Robbie Keane.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-4-1): Joe Willis - Sheanon Williams (Mauro Manotas 86), David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, Jalil Anibaba - Collen Warner - Andrew Wenger (Erick Torres 81), Ricardo Clark, Alex, Boniek Garcia (Cristian Maidana 62) - Giles Barnes.

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo put an end to their two-game losing slide and extended their road undefeated run, reaching a goalless draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. The Dynamo are in 10th place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 32 games.

LAST GAME

  • Sounders FC were reduced to 10 men just after the hour mark when Osvaldo Alonso was sent off by referee Drew Fischer with a straight red card when he put hands to the face of Will Bruin in a disagreement.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis matched his season-high with seven saves in keeping the clean sheet. Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was credited with five saves, the best of the night on a chance from Bruin from distance, which took a fully outstretched fingertip save to keep out.
  • Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett made six changes to the team that fell 3-2 to the Colorado Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium. David Horst and Keyner Brown came into the back four for Raul Rodriguez and Jalil Anibaba, Andrew Wenger, Eric Alexander and Jose Escalante started in midfield in place of Boniek Garcia, Cristian Maidana and Alex, and Will Bruin came in up top for Mauro Manotas.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-4-1): Joe Willis - Sheanon Williams, David Horst, Keyner Brown, DaMarcus Beasley (Jalil Anibaba 73) - Collen Warner - Andrew Wenger, Eric Alexander (Mauro Manotas 73), Ricardo Clark, Jose Escalante (Boniek Garcia 87) - Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo put an end to their two-game losing run – both games at BBVA Compass Stadium – with the draw at Sounders FC, now three consecutive matches without a win.
  • The draw did extend the Dynamo’s away undefeated streak to four matches, dating back to Aug. 19, the longest for the club since a five-game road run without a loss in the 2013 season.
  • “It’s been a tough season for us. We’re still after positive results,” Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett said. “Everyone feels good after positive results. There’s a lot to play for. We all have a lot to play for. I have a lot to coach for. Part of it is professional pride. You want to step on the field and compete and do well. If that happened to prevent them from getting in the playoffs, that is what it is. We’re in it for our reasons, not for theirs.”
  • The Dynamo were shutout at the attacking end for a 10th time this season, but they gained a point through a goalless draw for the fourth time this season, tied for most in MLS (also: LA, SJ).
  • “That was a hard-fought game,” Barrett said. “Looking at this one 10 days ago, anticipating that perhaps Morris might be gone and that Lodeiro might be gone, Seattle has a very good team without those guys. But I think they do change the dynamic. Obviously, in the lead-up to it, we knew those guys were going to back so it puts into sharper focus all the things you need to do defensively.”
  • Keyner Brown made his first MLS and Dynamo start, coming into central defense and playing the full 90 minutes. He had made one league appearance, coming on as a substitute for the final 15 minutes Sept. 9 vs. Sporting KC.
  • Jose Escalante made his first MLS and Dynamo start, coming into a wide midfield role and playing 87 minutes. Escalante had made consecutive substitute appearances, totaling 22 minutes, in the previous two matches after his signing with the club.
  • David Horst made his first start since Aug. 24, coming into central defense and playing the full 90 minutes. Horst had not featured in five consecutive matches.
  • Eric Alexander made his first since Aug. 27, entering the center of midfield and playing 73 minutes. Alexander had come off the substitutes’ bench three times in between the starts.