MLS Match Preview: Crew vs. Dynamo

Black & Gold welcome Houston for an Eastern Conference clash

COLUMBUS CREW vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
June 1, 2013 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #124)
7:30 p.m. ET (FS-OH; CSN-Hou2)

The Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo renew acquaintances when the two Eastern Conference clubs meet for the first time this season at Crew Stadium on Saturday evening. The Crew are coming off an undefeated two-game road swing, following a 2-2 draw in New York, then advanced in the U.S. Open Cup following a midweek victory. The Dynamo ended a two-game losing slide with a 1-1 draw at Sporting KC last weekend, then also advanced in the Open Cup with a midweek home victory.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 19 games; FC/gm: 20.4; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 3; pens: 4

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: HOU: Bobby Boswell (through June 2)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Federico Higuain
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Matias Sanchez … HOU: Corey Ashe, Andrew Driver, Kofi Sarkodie
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CLB: Wil Trapp (USA U-20) ... HOU: Boniek Garcia (Honduras); Brad Davis (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 19 goals … Dynamo 2 wins, 15 goals … Ties 8
AT COLUMBUS (27 meetings): Crew 3 wins, 12 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 8 goals … Ties 3
FUTURE MATCH: 8/3: Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew, 8 p.m. CT; 9/4: Columbus Crew vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/21: CLB 2, HOU 2 (Gaven 63, 74 – Bruin 59; Ching 81)
8/19: HOU 2, CLB 2 (Davis 19; Moffat 82 – Grossman 33; Gaven 58)

  • The Crew have an eight-game unbeaten streak alive against the Dynamo, over the last four seasons, with three wins and five draws in that time. Houston’s last victory in the series came Aug. 2, 2008.
  • The teams have played to three consecutive 2-2 draws, including both meetings a year ago.
  • The Crew have come away with points on four consecutive trips to Houston, and six of seven visits there all-time. The Dynamo’s only home win in the series was their last win vs. Columbus, in 2008.
  • Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. HOU: P8 W3 L0 T5 … Dominic Kinnear vs. CLB: P18 W4 L6 T8

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew nearly pulled off a second consecutive win on the road, but the New York Red Bulls hit for a late leveler to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw Sunday at Red Bull Arena. The Crew are in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points from 12 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Columbus took the lead just two minutes in. Latching onto a loose pass some 35 yards out from goal, Dominic Oduro managed to weave his way in between the Red Bulls defense before slotting a shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
  • The Red Bulls came up with an impressive response just after the half-hour mark. Tim Cahill hit a ball over the top from inside his own half that fell to Thierry Henry, who proceeded to loop a beautiful lob over Crew netminder Andy Gruenebaum from just outside the box.
  • The Crew took the lead in the 73rd minute after Red Bulls right back Kosuke Kimura was whistled for a foul on Crew forward Justin Meram inside the penalty area by referee Geoff Gamble, and Federico Higuaín stepped up to take it, shooting down the middle as the Red Bulls 'keeper dove to his right.
  • But once again the Red Bulls found a late goal to snatch a point. In the second minute of stoppage time, Jonny Steele's cross fell to Jámison Olave and he calmly brought it down with his right before smashing it into the back of the net with his left to leave the teams level.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that took a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC at BMO Field. Kevan George started in central defense in place of the suspended Glauber.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Josh Williams, Kevan George, Eric Gehrig, Tyson Wahl - Eddie Gaven, Matias Sanchez (Danny O'Rourke 80), Tony Tchani, Justin Meram - Federico Higuain - Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld 8 / Ben Speas 62).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew concluded their two-game road swing by taking four of a possible six points, following the win at Toronto FC, coming off back-to-back home losses.
  • “We came here to win the game; we came here to get the points. If somebody would’ve given us one point before the game we would’ve taken it but I don’t think that’s the right thing to say because I think we play on the road pretty (well),” said Warzycha. “We won three games on the road so this was I think a little bit disappointing.”
  • Dominic Oduro scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season, his second in as many games. He has scored five of the Crew’s last eight goals in MLS play.
  • Federico Higuaín scored his third goal of the season, his second from the penalty spot. Three of Higuaín’s eight goals with Columbus have come on penalty kicks.
  • “We were definitely able to create some goal-scoring opportunities, which is obviously good to see; playing on the road, it’s not always easy to do that, so that’s definitely something we can take from this game, hopefully give us a little bit of confidence moving forward,” said Eddie Gaven. “We just got to keep on pushing; we got to start getting some points at home and being able to get some wins when we go to Crew Stadium.”
  • But there was an injury concern as Oduro was forced off injured barely five minutes after scoring, after suffering a thigh contusion on the goalscoring play.
  • I think we lost a very good player in the first minute. He scored a goal and then that little bit changed the way we played,” said Warzycha. “Dominic (Oduro) is a good player and I’m sure he would’ve probably caused more trouble than other players to be honest with you, with his speed. That was unfortunate for us that we lost him in the second minute.
  • Said Oduro: “I can barely walk but I’ll fight through it. I think we’re trying to go get a scan to see hopefully it’s something minor, which I hope it is. Other than that hopefully I’ll just try and rehab it and be ready for next week.”
  • There were other injury concerns as Kevan George – who made his first start of the season, coming into central defense – had to leave the field before the end of the match.
  • “What concerns me more is the injuries,” said Warzycha. “We have Kevan (George) with the stitches and Dominic, we don’t know what’s going to happen and a couple of other guys hurt also.”
  • On Wednesday, the Crew reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 win against the USL PRO Dayton Dutch Lions at Crew Stadium. Eddie Gaven gave the Crew a 52nd-minute lead, then after Dayton leveled the score, Justin Meram hit for the winner six minutes from time.
  • Here’s the Crew team: Matt Lampson; Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Glauber, Tyson Wahl; Eddie Gaven (Kevan George 88), Danny O’Rourke, Konrad Warzycha, Ben Speas (Justin Meram 65); Federico Higuain (Ethan Finlay 65), Aaron Schoenfeld

 

HOUSTON DYNAMO
The Houston Dynamo saw their winless run reach three games, Sporting Kansas City coming back for a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. The Dynamo are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points from 13 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • A key talking point came in the 38th minute. Brad Davis went down under a challenge from Oriol Rosell, and referee Drew Fischer immediately pointed to the spot. But after protests from Sporting's players, Fischer conferred with assistant referee Kevin Duliba and waved off the penalty ruling.
  • The Dynamo took the lead in the first minute of stoppage time. Giles Barnes flicked the ball on forward to Will Bruin, who took it with his back to the defense and worked free before slotting a quick through ball to Brad Davis for a finish inside goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen's near post.
  • Sporting drew even in the 68th minute. After Jacob Peterson got a touch on Oriol Rosell's through ball, Claudio Bieler's square pass found Kei Kamara just outside the area after a dummy and he slotted into the lower right corner for the equalizer.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium. Eric Brunner and Adam Moffat came into the team for Jermaine Taylor and Bobby Boswell.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Ricardo Clark, Eric Brunner, Corey Ashe (Mike Chabala 46) - Adam Moffat - Andrew Driver, Brad Davis (Jason Johnson 87), Boniek Garcia - Giles Barnes (Warren Creavalle  81), Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • While the Dynamo saw their winless run extended to three games, they were able to go on the road and put an end to a two-game losing slide.
  • “You look at the whole 90-minute team effort and the way we played … that’s one of our better performances,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “It’s not a win but we look at the performance and say ‘OK, we’re back on the right track.’ You’ve got to man up, play as a team and play well and I thought we did that today.”
  • It was a completely new central defense partnership. Jermaine Taylor was out with a shoulder injury after being forced to come off after just 10 minutes in the New England game, and Bobby Boswell was serving the first game of his two-match suspension.
  • Ricardo Clark shifted from a central midfield role back into central defense, and Eric Brunner made his third league start of the season.
  • We had some guys in different positions, but everyone came together. It shouldn't surprise anyone that just because we don't have everyone available in the lineup that we're going to change the way we play,” said Hall. “I think the guys that came in played excellent, and that depth and team mentality is why we're one of the better teams in the league.”
  • But there was another injury blow to the back line when left back Corey Ashe had to come off at halftime with a groin injury.
  • “I thought defensively we were pretty strong,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I thought as a new back four and being together for 90 minutes and then even for 45 minutes, I thought they held up well.”
  • Brad Davis scored his third goal of the season, his first since April 14, and Will Bruin recorded his fourth assist to go with four goals on the year.
  • “After last week's game against New England, we wanted to come here and get back to the ways we're used to playing. We came out ready to play and put together a good performance,” said Davis. “I'm a little disappointed we didn't get more from it, but also happy at the way we played.”
  • On Wednesday, the Dynamo won a U.S. Open Cup match for the first time since 2010, reaching the fourth round following a 2-0 win against FC Tucson of the PDL. Alex Dixon put the Dynamo on their way with a 26th-minute goal and Giles Barnes sealed it with a late free kick goal.
  • Here’s the Dynamo team: Tyler Deric; Brian Ownby, Bobby Boswell, Anthony Arena, Mike Chabala; Warren Creavalle, Luiz Camargo (Adam Moffat 83), Alex Dixon; Bryan Salazar (Andrew Driver 60), Brian Ching (Giles Barnes 72), Jason Johnson