The Houston Dynamo welcome old rivals, the New England Revolution to PNC Stadium tonight for a rare Tuesday night match. The Dynamo are coming off a 0-0 loss against Sporting Kansas City Saturday night in interim head coach Kenny Bundy’s first match in charge. New England played Saturday as well, losing 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls.
The good ol’ days
The Houston and New England rivalry goes way back to the very early days of the Dynamo. The two teams met in the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup final, with the Dynamo winning both matches to earn their two championships. New England then won the 2008 North American SuperLiga final over Houston. Since then the rivalry has fizzled out a bit, and the teams have not met since 2019. The last time New England visited PNC Stadium was in 2018, before it was called PNC Stadium. The Dynamo have not beaten the Revolution since 2014 and have not beaten them in the last seven meetings.
Clark coming up big
Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark picked up his 50th career clean sheet in Major League Soccer, recording six saves in Saturday’s draw against SKC. Clark has 90 saves this season, fourth most in MLS, and has a 70.6 save percentage, which is tied for tenth. The Houston goalkeeper has proven to be one of the best shot stoppers in the league by all the metrics. Clark gas a +3.3 PSxG which measures expected goals based on how likely the goalkeeper is to save the shot. A positive number suggests an above average ability to stop shots. Clark might turn 37 early next season but he has been one of the Dynamo’s most consistent contributors this year and is showing that he still has some miles left in those gloves.
New England won the Supporters’ Shield last season with a staggering 73 points in 34 games. In 2022, the Revs have just 38 points from 30 games and are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, from 8th place. Reigning MVP Carles Gil looks to be available again after missing the last match for the birth of his child. A loss in that match has New England desperate for points. Dynamo interim head coach Kenny Bundy knows what his team is up against, and he wants the challenge. “They need to win,” Bundy told the media yesterday. “They’re going to look at this game as the most important of the week right now. We don’t necessarily feel like there’ll be too many changes in players. They’re in a situation where they’re going to need to come after us. Which is great. That’s what we want. We want teams to come in and give it their best. The way Bruce (Arena) plays and the way he sets up, his team is very structured and they have some great players. Ultimately, our job at home is to dictate play and really make sure that we’re stingy in the back.”
Houston Dynamo – Out: Daniel Steres (right arm) Matias Vera (suspension); Questionable: Hector Herrera (right leg), Memo Rodriguez (left leg), Ethan Bartlow (right leg)
New England Revolution – Out: Jacob Jackson (ACL), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg); Questionable: Dylan Borrero (leg)