Preview: Crew vs. Dynamo

Dynamo try to build momentum vs. strong Crew side

Chad Marshall against the Dynamos

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The basics

Columbus
Crew
(8-2-3, first place in Eastern Conference) v. Houston
Dynamo
(5-7-3, sixth place in Western Conference)

All-Time Record: Houston are 2-2-4 all-time against the Crew

TV info

KHOU 11.2, TV Informa (local); Direct Kick, MatchDay Live.

Last meeting

Both Houston and Columbus were longing for points last September to
improve their standings in both the Supporters’ Shield race and playoff
positioning for home-field advantage. A set piece found Frankie Hejduk unmarked
at the far post and the defender gave the Crew an early lead. However,
Houston battled back as Cam Weaver pulled the teams level in the 80th
minute. The feisty affair saw both Ricardo Clark and Adam Moffat shown red and ejected late. Geoff Cameron was whistled for a foul in the
box in the game’s final minutes and Eddie Gaven scored the game-winner in injury
time from the penalty spot to give Columbus a 2-1 victory at home.

What's at stake?

Houston hope to continue to build some momentum after a very solid
road draw against a good Toronto FC team. The Dynamo are
currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs and need three
points after going winless in their last five MLS contests. Columbus
need points to continue to distance themselves from New York in the East
and also to close the gap for the Supporters’ Shield between themselves
and the LA
Galaxy
.

Heroes & villains

Brian Ching vs. Chad Marshall: After scoring three
goals and notching an assist in his last five MLS games, Ching seems to
be venting his frustration at missing the World Cup on any MLS opponent
that stands in his way. Marshall provides a more formidable opponent
than most, though. With Guillermo Barros
Schelotto
’s delivery on set pieces, keeping Marshall away might be
more important to Houston’s chances at victory.

Dynamo defense vs. themselves: Houston’s D has
struggled with poor turnovers, poor clearances and too many misplays of
late. Things get no easier with Schelotto, Rogers and Gaven providing
some of the better offensive attacking talent in MLS. Houston can’t
afford any mistakes against a team that can both punish the mistake and
then dig in and keep their opponent off the scoreboard.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm…”

Midfielder Brad Davis has tallied two
goals and three assists in the two previous Military Appreciation
Nights.

He said it

“We need the same attitude we brought against Toronto. We have to
stay on our feet defensively because they draw fouls around the box, and
that is when they’re really dangerous.” – Dynamo head coach Dominic
Kinnear on the Crew