Since Dominic Kinnear's departure from Houston each Houston Dynamo vs San Jose Earthquakes game has been played around stories of the coach playing his former team. This time around the same is true but it comes with an even bigger hook now that Wade Barrett has taken over the reins of the Dynamo. Barrett both played for and coached under Kinnear during his time at Houston. Now the student has the chance to beat the teacher.
Houston has improved since Wade Barrett was appointed interim coach when Owen Coyle departed midseason. The defense has been holding strong as they have posted five consecutive clean sheets at home. In Houston's last game, against the Whitecaps, they posted their third scoreless draw in six games. Defense has been the major focus since Barrett took over and now that the defense is doing its job we have started to see a shift in formation from the 4-1-4-1 and 4-2-3-1 to last game where they played a 4-4-2. This shift signals that Barrett is now looking for the offense to start scoring goals. The team has been getting shots off but they have struggle to get them on target and past the opposing teams goal keeper.
San Jose comes to Houston after spending the week hosting the MLS All Star game. A game where they had two players, Chris Wondolowski and David Bingham, play in the Thursday night game. The Earthquakes sit two spots above the last place Dynamo in the Western Conference standings. Wondolowski is of course a player that the Dynamo will need to keep their eye on. He leads his team with eight goals on the season. However, it was Alberto Quintero who caused the most damaged the last time these two teams faced each other. He scored two of San Jose's three goals in their 3-1 victory over the Dynamo back in May.
The game kicks off at 8 pm CT on Sunday.