The Houston Dynamo will make the trek to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution this Saturday. The Dynamo are looking to bounce back after losing to Vancouver and then dropping a match at home to rival FC Dallas. This is the second time this year that the Dynamo have faced the Revs with the first meeting between the two resulting in a 4-0 win for the men in orange. The Dynamo will need a win, hopefully like that, to get the nasty taste out that was left by the loss to FC Dallas.
One question in the previous meeting was whether or not David Horst would be the answer at center back alongside Jermaine Taylor. Horst has more than proven worthy becoming a rock as well as a vocal leader out of the back in a short amount of time. However, due to David Horst's suspension Dominic Kinnear has to re-visit the issue of who to play next to Taylor. Kinnear has a number of options, but likely replacement Eric Brunner is not available for selection following his ankle surgery that puts him out eight weeks. Kinnear has to choose between players with less experience, or players who are not dominant at center back. Center back A.J. Cochran is one of the options with less experience, but he handled himself quite well in the game against FCD considering how many factors were stacked against him. Anthony Arena is another player now available as Dominic Kinnear has recalled him from his short loan stint with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Warren Creavalle and Ricardo Clark are also able to play the center back position.
Another injury concern is that of Captain Brad Davis. Davis injured his ankle against FC Dallas and was forced to come off before the half - even though he, like a boss, fought through some of the pain and managed to get an assist immediately following his injury.
Forward production remains an area of concern for the Dynamo. After the first game, against the Revolution, the Dynamo have failed to score more than one goal each game. Of the three games following their opener, a forward has only scored once. It hasn't been a very long time but a number of fans are beginning to believe a scoring drought is already here. Will Bruin terrorized New England early last match and netted himself two goals and an assist, and we all hope that level of forward production returns. If it doesn't, the goals will need to come from somewhere and Ricardo Clark has been the only player to answer that call thus far.
The Revolution have been having problems of their own, specifically scoring problems. New England is currently the least scoring team in MLS, having managed just two goals in five matches - one of those goals was an own goal by San Jose as well. This looks like it should be a good thing for the Dynamo and whoever replaces David Horst, but we should all look for the Revs to break this slump especially to the team that slammed them in the first match of the season. Yes, this game has the makeup of what some consider a trap game. Both teams are rested, but the Revolution is out to break their slump and could with the likes of Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury, Lee Nguyen, and super sub Charlie Davies.
I don't expect this one to be as easy as it looks on paper, especially the way the Dynamo struggle to earn points on the road. I know it may seem early to talk about "must-win" games - also maybe a little redundant since all games should be must win, but hear me out. The Dynamo does this a lot, and towards the end of the year we really start panicking, but if we can manage wins against teams we should be able to beat then we can worry less later (but still those are must win games!) Yes, the Dynamo should beat the Revolution, and it could be just like the opening day match. At the same time, expect a motivated Revolution side.
The game kicks off at 4 PM Central time on April 12th .