At this point, what more can you really say?
The Houston Dynamo host the San Jose Earthquakes tomorrow night at Robertson Stadium desperately needing points to stay ahead of the trip of teams with games in hand who sit right on their tails in the standings. The Dynamo are holding on to a playoff spot by the slimmest of margins and anything less than the full three points against the Quakes really won't cut it.
Carlo Costly returns from suspension and the status of Brian Ching has been a closely guarded secret all week. He wasn't on the bench Wednesday and I've not read anything about the health of his groin since Monday. Fortunately, Calen Carr looked lively against Columbus and Will Bruin was strong in his first start since returning from injury.
We'll have to see what forward combination Kinner goes with (probably Costly and Weaver) and if the Camargo/Watson midfield continues. It wouldn't shock me to see Geoff Cameron back in the middle though he was outstanding in his old defensive spot against the Crew. Jermaine Taylor was excellent at the fullback spot as well, showing a lot of ability to move up on the attack and work from the wing.
Bottom line, it's a must win.
- Mostly because the prior version of the San Jose Earthquakes moved to Houston to become the Dynamo during the 2005-06 offseason, there are numerous ties between the teams. Seven Dynamo coaches or players have previous experience with San Jose, including forward Brian Ching, midfielder Brad Davis, defender Eddie Robinson, and forward Cam Weaver. Dynamo coaches Dominic Kinnear, Wade Barrett, and Tim Hanley have all played for San Jose clubs in the past, and Kinnear and Hanley have both coached on the Earthquakes staff.
- San Jose head coach Frank Yallop coached each of the above Houston players and Barrett and worked with Kinnear and Hanley. San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski scored eight goals in 58 appearances in all competitions for the Dynamo from 2006-09.
- The Dynamo are tied for third in Major League Soccer in home scoring, averaging 1.86 goals per home game (26 goals, 14 games). Only Real Salt Lake and Seattle (1.93) rank higher.
- The Dynamo's 86th-minute goal on Wednesday night was the eighth time this season Houston has scored in the final seven minutes of a match to win or tie a game, including five road ties. The goal was the first for forward Calen Carr in a Dynamo uniform in only his fourth appearance after returning from a preseason concussion.
- Defender Jermaine Taylor made his first Dynamo start at right back on Wednesday after eight starts at center back and one at left back. Taylor set up the Dynamo's opening goal for his first MLS assist.
- Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron made his 100th career start for the Dynamo in all competitions on Wednesday. Cameron became the 12th player in club history to reach that milestone and, at 26 years and 65 days, the second-youngest player to do so. Only Ricardo Clark was younger, making his 100th start on March 3, 2009, at 26 years and 21 days of age.
- Houston has scored first in 10 out of 29 games on the season; the Dynamo are 6-1-3 when notching the first goal and 2-8-7 when the opponent scores first; there have been two 0-0 ties.