May 12, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Dynamo forward Brad Davis (11) celebrates a victory against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo defeated D.C. United 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
You know what sucks? That moment when you realize that after two matches at your wonderful new stadium, you still have to go back out on the road. That feeling of malaise is only increased by the fact said road trip is to the cavernous Gillette Stadium to play on that wonderful turf. At least the Revolution are an improving team now.
Under the guidance of first year coach Jay Heaps, the Revs have returned to respectability in MLS. Their record isn't blowing anyone away at 4-6-0 but considering what was expected for this side, it's a step in the right direction. More importantly, they are in fifth place in the East and are winning at home this season (3-1 so far). The addition of Lee Nguyen has helped a great deal, but I think a big part of the improvement is the fact that this franchise needed a new voice. No disrespect to what Steve Nicol did, but given enough time, most coaches will hit a wall at one club.
Make no mistake, the Revs are still a work in progress, but considering the apathy and stupidity their fans deal with from their owners, it's nice to see them improving on the field.
The Dynamo are 3-3-3, essentially tied with the Revs for fifth. I'm of the opinion that you can still go a long way in MLS without being a fantastic road team, so a point for me on Saturday wouldn't be too shabby. That said, it's another game I'd like to see the Dynamo winning, especially if they are going to challenge at the top of the conference.
Kofi Sarkodie and Brian Ownby remain out nursing injuries, but it's all hands on deck otherwise for Dominic Kinnear. This is also the final match of Houston's ridiculous four match in eleven day run. So the prospect of an entire week without a game is probably teasing the players like a water-filled desert mirage teases a person stuck in the Sahara. Before they can take that figurative drink of water, it's time to bunker down for one more match.
The difference in Saturday's game could well be set pieces. The Dynamo are set-up to succeed on them and the Revs give up goals off them fairly frequently. New England has allowed four goals from set pieces this season, and while the Dynamo only have two (I say only because they had 12 last year), it's still this team's offensive bread & butter. Assuming the defense continues to play strong, a free kick or corner could be the difference.
Predicting a lineup is tough because of the turf and the rampant rotation Kinnear has used to keep his guys fresh during the last week, but I'll do my best.
Predicted Lineup: Hall; Taylor, Boswell, Cameron, Ashe; Moffat, Carr, Camargo, Davis; Bruin, Weaver
Predicted Score: 1-1