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Dynamo on the Left Coast Facing a Galaxy Without Its Goldenballs

HOUSTON - MAY 21: Head coach Dominic Kinnear of the Houston Dynamo calls out instructions at Robertson Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - MAY 21: Head coach Dominic Kinnear of the Houston Dynamo calls out instructions at Robertson Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Dynamo's busy week continues with a match tonight against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are coming off a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA in the first SuperClasico match on the season, but will be without David Beckham who is in the midst of what is likely his best season in MLS.

The Dynamo have yet to win on the road this season, but they have gotten four hard earned draws so hopefully the trend of positive results will continue tonight. Houston's 2-4-2 all-time against the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, which isn't too bad, though most Dynamo fans still remember the 2009 Western Conference final loss there all to well.

The key for Houston will be to contain the Galaxy's potent offense, especially Landon Donovan who has been scoring goals at a torrid pace of late. If they can limit Los Angeles' chances and stay organized defensively, there's no reason that a positive result isn't within reach. Avoiding another lapse of concentration will be key tonight as well, considering that even without Beckham, the Galaxy still have plenty of offensive weapons at their disposal. I guess I'm hoping for the best and dreading the worst.

With this being the second match of three in a eight day stretch, expect to see some lineup changes tonight from Kinnear (that and he said that would be the case after Saturday's match). I'd like to see Koke start up front with Will Bruin to see how the two work together for an extended period. Also, with Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor and Je-Vaughan Watson leaving for Gold Cup duty after the weekend, you'd hope to see maximum minutes from all three to rest the players who will pick up more minutes during their absence. 

A win would be fantastic, but a point and no electrical malfunctions would be pretty good as well.


Dynamo Notes:

  • Houston midfielder Brad Davis will set a club record with his 137th appearance in MLS regular season play for the Dynamo if he appears in Wednesday's match, breaking a tie with Brian Mullan and Pat Onstad. Davis tied the mark in Saturday's match and, in the process, scored his 20th career goal for Houston in all competitions, the fourth-highest total in club history. An appearance for Davis on Wednesday would also be his 175th for Houston in all competitions, second in team history.
  • Defender Andre Hainault has played every minute of the Dynamo's last 30 MLS games, totaling 2,745 consecutive minutes including his last substitute appearance on May 29, 2010. The consecutive minutes and consecutive 90-minute performances are Houston records for a field player; goalkeeper Pat Onstad had separate streaks of 46 and 40 consecutive 90-minute efforts. Hainault's streak is likely to end after Saturday's match against Dallas due to Hainault's participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The Dynamo have earned ties in four of their five road games this season, including two ties against Western Conference foes: a 1-1 tie at Seattle and a scoreless tie at Real Salt Lake.
  • Forward Koke notched his first Dynamo and first MLS goal in Saturday's 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls, reacting first to a rebound in the penalty area and converting into an empty net. Koke has averaged 13.5 minutes in four substitute appearances, in addition to his lone start May 7 at Toronto.
  • The penalty kick goal scored by Brad Davis and set up by Will Bruin against New York last Saturday was the first penalty kick for the Dynamo since July 31, 2010, when Davis had two penalty kick attempts in the same game against the Red Bulls, converting one.
  • Dynamo forward Will Bruin ranks tied for fifth in the league in goals (4), fourth in shots (30), and is tied for fourth in shots on goal (13), while goalkeeper Tally Hall ranks tied for third in saves (34).
  • Midfielder Lovel Palmer is the only Houston player to play all 1,110 minutes of the club's season so far in all competitions, including the team's U.S. Open Cup qualifier. In league play, Palmer is one of three players to contest all 990 minutes, joining defender Andre Hainault and goalkeeper Tally Hall.