I'm going to go ahead and skip the platitudes about this match being a must-win. We know that. The team knows it. The fans know it. By this time, the whole Internet probably knows it. So why don't we skip the obvious and get on to what can be done about it?
The Dynamo are coming off of a rainy, 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution last Saturday. While the rain isn't supposed to fall this time, we can certainly hope for the same type of result this time around - even if the team is missing one of its best playmakers.
Montreal played Sporting Kansas City to a draw at home in their last match, and have had two weeks to prepare for this. They're still in the playoff hunt, even if it is just barely. Most people have already written them off, but whenever there's still a chance, there's still the hope that the chance will work out.
The Impact are only in their first MLS season, so there isn't that much of a history between the two teams. That being said, what little there has been shows a tale of two cities. The Dynamo were on the wrong end of a 4-2 result when the teams met in Montreal on June 23rd, but got their revenge a few weeks later, with Macoumba Kandji's brace helping to propel the Dynamo to a 3-0 home victory on July 21st.
While Brian Ching has often been the focus of Houston-Montreal clashes due to his brief off-season stint with the Impact, it is Brad Davis that Dynamo fans need to watch this weekend. The midfielder/Dynamo icon is questionable for Saturday's match with an injury to his left calf. While he told the media on Thursday that he does hope to play, nothing is certain, and the Dynamo have options just in case Davis is unavailable.
At this point in the season, we all know what's at stake. The Dynamo have a chance to get nine more points, and will likely need all of them to ensure that they get a foot into the playoffs. The Impact are still nursing playoff hopes, but anything other than a win for them will crush those dreams. There are, of course, other matches going on this weekend, and while this doesn't have the glamour that the New York-Chicago or Columbus-Kansas City matches do, it still features two teams battling for their postseason lives.
Make no mistake about it: this will be a battle à outrance - a struggle from the first whistle to the last. But it is a battle that the Dynamo are very capable of winning.
FOX Sports Houston Plus - 7:30 p.m. (DirecTV: SD=680 / HD=680-1; Dish Network: SD=444 / HD=9514; AT&T U-Verse: SD= 691 HD=1691; Comcast =110)
MultiMedios Houston - 7 p.m. (AT&T U-Verse: SD= 691 HD=1691; Comcast =110)
KPRC 950 - 7 p.m.
La Ranchera 850 -7 p.m.
Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Jason Cullum; JAR (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Jasen Anno MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 22.1; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 7; pens: 11
HOUSTON DYNAMO - OUT: MF Brad Davis (L calf strain); PROBABLE: MF Giles Barnes (R quad strain)
MONTREAL IMPACT - OUT: GK Greg Sutton (eye bruise); DF Nelson Rivas (L knee surgery); FW Bernardo Corradi (L knee ACL tear)
MTL: Collen Warner (caution accumulation; through Oct. 7)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: HOU: Bobby Boswell
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Corey Ashe, Calen Carr, Brad Davis, Macoumba Kandji ... MTL: Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, Bernardo Corradi, Sanna Nyassi
- (2 meetings): Dynamo 1 win, 5 goals ... Impact 1 win, 4 goals ... Ties 0
- AT HOUSTON (1 meeting): Dynamo 1 win, 3 goals ... Impact 0 wins, 0 goals ... Ties 0
- 2012 (MLS): 6/23: MTL 4, HOU 2 (Nyassi 4; Arnaud 21; Camara 60; Bernier 67 - Davis 16; Bruin 45) 7/21: HOU 3, MTL 0 (Kandji 7, 89; Boswell 84)
- The teams are meeting for the third time, after high-scoring affairs in their first two. Davy Arnaud and Patrice Bernier each had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 Impact win, June 23 at Stade Saputo, in their first meeting. A brace from Mac Kandji led the Dynamo to a 3-0 win July 21 in Houston.
- Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. MTL: P2 W1 L1 T0 ... Jesse Marsch vs. HOU: P2 W1 L1 T0
LAST MEETING (MLS):
5/19: NE 2, HOU 2 (Sene 26, 57 -- Bruin 32-- Camargo 87)
- The Dynamo opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Macoumba Kandji received a pass in the area and, after his first shot was parried by Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, he found the back of the net when his rebound effort hit both Ricketts and Impact defender Zarek Valentin.
- The Dynamo doubled the lead in the 84th minute when center back Bobby Boswell snapped home a corner kick from second half substitute Brad Davis.
- Kandji capped his brace by streaking down the left side and hitting a powerful right-footed shot into the far upper corner five minutes later.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-3): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Luiz Camargo (Brad Davis 68), Warren Creavalle, Boniek Garcia - Calen Carr (Je-Vaughn Watson 58), Will Bruin (Brian Ching 82), Macoumba Kandji.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin (Karl Ouimette 26), Shavar Thomas, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino - Collen Warner, Lamar Neagle (Justin Mapp 74) - Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Sanna Nyassi - Marco Di Vaio (Patrice Bernier 61).