The Houston Dynamo travel to face the New England Revolution tomorrow night with a chance to move in to third place in the Eastern Conference. Standing in Houston's way is a Revolution team whose playoffs hopes are slipping and the Dynamo's apparent inability to win a match on the road this season. If there was ever a great time for the team to break the streak, it's now.
Despite a sloppy second half against Portland on Sunday, the Dynamo were able to hold off the Timbers and extend their unbeaten streak to three matches (The Dynamo have only lost once in their last eight matches) picking up a key three points in the playoff race as well. We all knew this team would need to make a late summer run to stay in the playoff race and the Dynamo are doing just that. The acquisition of Adam Moffat is looking more and more like a great trade as the midfielder has fit right in to Kinnear's midfield, scoring his first goal on Sunday.
Carlo Costly continues to adapt to MLS and his teammates and should continue to improve as well, giving Houston a boost up front to help Brian Ching who has been playing some of his best soccer since the Dynamo were winning MLS Cups.
With the short turnaround and travel, there could be some adjustments to Kinnear's lineup tomorrow night depending on if anyone picked up an injury or isn't recovering quick enough.
What lineup are you expecting and can the Dynamo finally get a victory on the road?
- Houston forward Brian Ching has a great personal history against New England, netting eight times in 12 regular-season games (three times in six games for Houston) and scoring the game-tying goal in overtime in the 2006 MLS Cup final en route to MVP honors.
- The Dynamo are looking for their first road win of the season on Saturday night, but they have earned seven ties in 11 road games so far this season while allowing just 14 goals on the road. Furthermore, the Dynamo have tied four of their five road games against conference opposition this season.
- The Dynamo have lost just once in their last eight games (3-1-4), and summer acquisitions Adam Moffat and Carlo Costly have helped in the last several outings. Houston is 2-0-1 in Moffat's three starts, and his 40-yard goal against Portland last week is a contender for MLS Goal of the Week. Costly has appeared in the last two games, starting against Portland.
- Houston midfielder Brad Davis, who currently leads Major League Soccer with 11 assists, can tie the club record for career starts in all competitions if he is named to the lineup on Wednesday. Davis has made 169 starts over six years for Houston, one behind former goalkeeper Pat Onstad's mark of 170. Davis is already the all-time club leader in appearances and assists.
- Dynamo captain Brian Ching scored his fourth goal of the season against Portland on Sunday, tying him for the team lead with Will Bruin, Geoff Cameron, and Cam Weaver. Ching's goals have come in only 721 minutes (the others each have played more than 1,300), and the Dynamo are unbeaten in their last 10 games (4-0-6) when Ching starts.
- Houston has scored first in nine out of 24 games on the season; the Dynamo are 6-1-2 when notching the first goal and 1-6-6 when the opponent scores first; there have been two 0-0 ties.
- Midfielder Colin Clark has started the last three games at right midfield after missing a game due to a red- card suspension, and he has produced a goal and two assists in helping Houston to a 2-0-1 record.