After losing to the Houston Dynamo in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, the two clubs open the 2013 season with a rematch on Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m. in Houston (NBC Sports Network). With a strong core of starters returning this year, the Black-and-Red are poised to give Houston its first loss in BBVA Compass Stadium, a streak dating back to 5/12/12 when the new stadium opened. Here are your VW keys to the match:
Do the work defensively & contain Bruin and Davis
Playing on Houston’s tiny field can be tough, but if you put in the defensive work to win the 50-50 balls, the aerial balls, and defend as a team, the Black-and-Red will be in good shape. That’s not all, though, as D.C. United will need to contain Will Bruin (12 goals / 4 assists), Brad Davis (8 goals / 12 assists), and Honduran international Boniek Garcia (4 goals / 6 assists).
Through the 2012 season, Houston was a measly 1-9-2 when allowing the first goal of the game. On the other hand, when scoring the first goal, D.C. United is an impressive 14-2-1. The Black-and-Red will need to get on the board and hopefully take the crowd and atmosphere out of the game.
Bring the intensity to Houston
While it is only the first game of the season, both teams will be amply revved up and energized for the game. Expect an atmosphere no different than the first or second leg of last year’s Eastern Conference finals. D.C. United will be looking for revenge while the Dynamo will be looking to extend the streak at BBVA Compass Stadium.