MLS MATCHDAY 19
D.C. United at Houston Dynamo
Sunday, July 15 - 9:00 PM ET
TV: Comcast SportsNet (channel finder) and Galavision
In the week leading up to a match, D.C. United’s playersusually get a few key messages from the club’s coaching staff. Over the last days, one of those messagesturned into a history lesson.
“We haven’t won in Houston and it’s about time we try to fixthat,” Head Coach Ben Olsen said on Thursday. “But it doesn’t happen by saying it. You have to go out and do the work,stay organized and make sure you have the right fight in you.”
The Black-and-Red’s all-time record in Houston confirmsOlsen’s concerns. United haveearned just a single point while going a combined 0-6-1 at both Robertson andBBVA Compass stadiums since 2006. In the seven all-time matches, the Dynamo have scored 13 goals comparedto just four for D.C.
After hearing about their Texan struggles all week, Olsen’splayers are ready to put this bit of sour history in the past.
“We will do everything possible to make history in Houstonon Sunday,” forward Maicon Santos said in a Spanish-language interviewFriday. “They are a physical teamand nobody wins there easily. Butwe have a job to do, and that is come home with three points.”
United’s most recent trip to Houston ended much like theprevious ones, a 1-0 loss as the Dynamo christened BBVA Compass Stadium with awin back on May 12. Among the moresurprising features of the new facility was its field width, a paltry 70yards. Dominic Kinnear’s side hasnever been an easy one to play against, but the tight confines – coupled withthe stadium’s semi-enclosed roof – make for a wildly intense atmosphere.
“They know how to utilize that small space,” noted D.C.captain Dwayne De Rosario. “Theyare very good in tight quarters and we just have to be ready and willing to setthe intensity and match up with them. It suits their game, but we also have the skill to play in those tightareas.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 PM EST on Sunday, and thematch will be broadcast locally on Comcast SportsNet. Longtime play-by-play voice Dave Johnson and club legendJohn Harkes will have the call.
» ANALYSIS: Volkswagen keys to the match
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REFEREE: Jasen Anno. MLS Career: 31 games; FC/gm: 22.8; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 19; pens: 8
SAR (bench): Adam Garner; JAR (opposite): Jonathan Johnson; 4th: Ismail Elfath
HOUSTON DYNAMO -- PROBABLE: MF Calen Carr (L hamstring strain); MF Je-Vaughn Watson (L adductor strain)
D.C. UNITED -- OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Calen Carr, Corey Ashe ... DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Andy Najar, Dejan Jakovic
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Dynamo 8 wins, 23 goals ... United 4 wins, 15 goals ... Ties 2
AT HOUSTON (7 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 13 goals ... United 0 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 1
4/28: DC 3, HOU 2 (Santos 11, 70; De Rosario 54 -- Bruin 50, 59)
5/12: HOU 1, DC 0 (Davis 67)
The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Maicon Santos scored twice as United won 3-2, April 28 at RFK Stadium, while a Brad Davis was the winner as the Dynamo won 1-0 in the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12.
United have never won in Houston, in seven all-time visits. The Dynamo have a four-game home winning streak alive vs. D.C. United.
United's win in the first meeting this year was their first since a 1-0 triumph April 4, 2009 at RFK Stadium. The Dynamo had four of the previous five meetings, with one draw.
Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. DC: P19 W9 L6 D4 ... Ben Olsen v HOU: P5 W1 L3 D1
LAST MATCH (MLS)
The opening of the newest MLS palace needed a touch of magic, and it came from Brad Davis. His left-footed blast from the center of the field, from all of 35 yards out, curled off the outstretched hand of D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the net for the 67th-minute winner.
HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Calen Carr (Colin Clark 71), Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Camargo 66), Brad Davis - Will Bruin, Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 84).
D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Bill Hamid - Robbie Russell, Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Chris Korb - Danny Cruz, Perry Kitchen (Stephen King 28), Andy Najar - Dwayne De Rosario - Maicon Santos (Josh Wolff 68), Chris Pontius (Hamdi Salihi 57).