United limp into Texas to face the up-and-down Dynamo
D.C. United (1-7, 8th in Eastern Conference) v. Houston Dynamo (4-4-1, 2nd in Western Conference)
All-Time Record: Houston leads the all-time series 6-3-1 including Superliga play.
KHOU 11.2, Fox Sports Houston
August 1, 2009 – Three first half goals should have been enough for Houston to cruise comfortably to victory. But a second-half Luciano Emilio brace and a goal from midfielder Fred evened the match. Houston’s Dominic Oduro then drew a late penalty, and Stuart Holden’s conversion proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win for the Dynamo.
What's at Stake?
It may be too early to call any match a must win, but if the Dynamo want to stay with the pack in the extremely competitive Western Conference—the Rapids, a resurgent RSL and the surprising Earthquakes are right with them now—a win against lowly United at home might be required.
As for United, they have continued to struggle. Two straight losses have the entire side, particularly head coach Curt Onalfo, struggling for answers. Even a draw would be considered a massive victory.
Heroes & Villains
Tally Hall vs. Bill Hamid — Two of the least experienced keepers in MLS—Hall will be making his league debut; Hamid is just 19 years old—both keepers have shown they are extremely talented in their limited minutes. Their success, or mistakes, could determine the outcome in the game.
Dominic Oduro vs. Carey Talley — The Dynamo speedster may be able to use his pace for maximum affect against a D.C. backline that has struggled with pacy attackers. United has conceded more goals (16) than any other team in the league. The quality of Oduro’s performances of late seems to correlate to whether Houston wins or loses. Talley is an experienced veteran whose play can easily frustrate Oduro.
Stat of the Day:
Pat Onstad’s streak of 51 consecutive MLS starts will be snapped while he is playing for Canada against Argentina.
He said it:
“Every team has their runs. You can’t afford to take anything lightly. There are no easy weeks in this league.” — Dominic Kinnear, Dynamo coach