Preview: Chivas look to overcome Houston hex vs. Dynamo
ROBERTSON STADIUM, Houston, Texas
8:30 p.m. ET
June 11, 2011 (WEEK 13; MLS Game 123)
Chivas USA visit their own particular house of horrors on Saturday night when they take on the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. Chivas haven't scored in league play in Houston in five years. The Dynamo come into the game looking to snap a seven-game winless run, extended last weekend in a 2-0 loss at San Jose. Chivas ended a three-game winless skid last time out, a 1-0 victory against Portland.
REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. SAR (bench): Daniel Belleau; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 0; pens: 2
INJURY REPORT: HOUSTON DYNAMO—OUT: FW Calen Carr (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: FW Brian Ching (L plantar fascitis) ... CHIVAS USA—DOUBTFUL: DF Jimmy Conrad (concussion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: HOU: Andre Hainault (Canada); Jermaine Taylor, Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica) ... CHV: Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Zarek Valentin
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: HOU: Brad Davis, Lovel Palmer ... CHV: Nick LaBrocca
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Dynamo 8 wins, 25 goals ... Chivas USA 1 win, 8 goals ... Ties 5
AT HOUSTON (18 meetings): Dynamo 6 wins, 16 goals ... Chivas USA 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 2
RETURN MATCH: 7/23: Chivas USA vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/17: HOU 3, CHV 0 (Cameron 12; Palmer 19; Oduro 65)
5/8: CHV 0, HOU 2 (Davis 4; Serioux 7)
• The Dynamo have a four-game winning streak vs. Chivas USA. Chivas has won only once in the all-time league series—a 3-2 win Aug. 26, 2006 at The Home Depot Center. Chivas did win one of two-game set in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2006.
• Chivas USA have been shut out on their last seven league trips to Robertson Stadium. Since scoring a goal in a 3-1 loss in the club's first game at Houston in 2006, Chivas have gone 712 minutes without scoring in regular season play, the Dynamo winning five of those seven games (with two draws).
• Chivas did finally have some success in Houston last year, winning 3-1 in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, and also playing to a 1-1 draw in SuperLiga.
• Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. CHV: P18 W10 L1 D7 ... Robin Fraser vs. HOU: first game
Chivas USA won for the first time in four games, defeating the Portland Timbers 1-0 on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA have 17 points from 13 games on the season, in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in the 70th minute. Chivas USA's Paulo Nagamura streaked down the right touchline and played the ball across the goalmouth to a waiting Marcos Mondaini, who tapped it past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins at the far post.
• Dan Kennedy made four saves in goal for Chivas USA in keeping the clean sheet.
• Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made four changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center. Michael Lahoud, Paulo Nagamura, Jorge Flores and Marcos Mondaini all came back into the team, in place of Ante Jazic, Gerson Mayen, Francisco Mendoza and Chris Cortez.
• CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Michael Lahoud, Michael Umana, Heath Pearce, Zarek Valentin - Paulo Nagamura (Simon Elliott 82) - Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores - Justin Braun (Chris Cortez 68), Marcos Mondaini (Blair Gavin 87).
• The win was just the second in seven home games for Chivas USA. Only Vancouver and Chicago have fewer home wins (one each) among clubs that had played at home this season.
• "The win is most important, but I'm most excited about is our aggressive mind set from the beginning," said Chivas coach Robin Fraser. "We have not always seen that at home and I felt like tonight, the way we came out and played was exactly the way we need to play."
• Marcos Mondaini made his return to the Chivas USA lineup a triumphant one. After missing four games to suspension, Mondaini scored the game's only goal vs. Portland, his second of the season.
• "Marcos was very good," Fraser said. "From his first touch of the game, I think he took on a few guys, and got around the corner and was getting into the corner and getting into dangerous crossing positions. ... In spite of the incident that happened with himself and Javier, Marcos is a wonderful person and he feels a responsibility because he feels like he's letting the team down. So the fact that he came back, with this attitude, that he really wanted to help the team . . . I thought he was very good in that respect."
• Midfielder Paulo Nagamura made his first start of the season, playing 82 minutes. He had made his first appearance since April 16 at midweek, coming on as a substitute for the final half hour vs. Vancouver.
• "We had something to prove to ourselves, because we know we're a better team than played Wednesday," said Nagamura. "Tonight we made another statement. We proved that we can be a very good team, and we are very happy with the way the game went."
• Michael Lahoud was also able to return to the lineup, just his second start since April 16. His only other start in that stretch was ended after 30 minutes after concussion-like symptoms returned.
• Second-year man Blair Gavin also made his first appearance since March 26, playing three minutes. He had been forced off early in his last outing with a hamstring strain.
• "This gives us depth, which is extremely important coming into the grueling summer months where the season keeps going and going," said Gavin. "If you got five or six midfielders it helps your team, you sub in someone and they bring the intensity of a starter. It's great for us."
The Houston Dynamo has their winless streak extended to seven games, losing 2-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Dynamo have 15 points from 14 games on the season, sitting in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
• The Quakes took the lead on 69 minutes. With plenty of time and space, right back Steven Beitashour delivered a bending ball into the box from deep on the right flank and Steven Lenhart split a pair of Houston defenders to powerfully head the ball to the near post, leaving Dynamo goalkeeper Hall with no real chance.
• The home side put away the game in second-half stoppage time. Simon Dawkins and Sam Cronin played a one-two in midfield, Dawkins running onto the return pass all along behind the Dynamo back line and easily slotting home past Hall.
• Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas at Robertson Stadium. Hunter Freeman and Bobby Boswell came into the back four and Danny Cruz and Colin Clark into the midfield, with Kofi Sarkodie suspended and Jermaine Taylor, Andre Hainault and Je-Vaughn Watson on national team duty.
• HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Hunter Freeman, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Mike Chabala - Lovel Palmer - Danny Cruz (Corey Ashe 71), Brad Davis, Colin Clark - Will Bruin (Jason Garey 87), Cam Weaver.
• The Dynamo saw their winless streak extended to seven games in the 2-0 loss Saturday at San Jose, matching the second-longest in club history, behind just the 10-game winless run recorded last year.
• "I was a little bit stunned, because we knew some of the results of [Saturday's] games was a chance for us to pick up some points," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "The first half was a good show of attitude and determination. The second half was one of those where the first 20 minutes, it was a different attitude, and it was disappointing."
• Missing three regulars to Gold Cup play, Geoff Cameron started his first game of the season at center back. Cameron was an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI selection while playing center back during the 2009 season.
• "I felt comfortable alongside Bobby [Boswell], and I think we're a good tandem," Cameron said. "But saying that, the result wasn't there, and we've got to take it upon ourselves as a team and get on a winning streak."
• Danny Cruz made his first appearance since April 23, missing seven games with a hyperextended knee.
• "I think we started the game real well, and if we could've gotten an early goal, the game's completely different. Then we came out in the second half a little down, and it cost us," Cruz said. "They got a goal, and then we were chasing the rest of the game."
• The Dynamo's last win came April 29, a 4-2 win against D.C. United when rookie Will Bruin scored a hat trick. While the Dynamo have gone without a win, Bruin has gone without a goal.
• "Sometimes opportunities come around through good play and injuries, [but] his came around from both. I don't think that [Koke leaving] really affects him. He was playing really well even before Koke got here. If he's playing well, he deserves to play, and then he's responsible to help the team win," Kinnear said. "My only surprise was that hat trick so early. But give him credit: He always seems to get one to three chances a game down to his movement."
• Brian Ching was able to return to full training in the buildup to the Chivas match. He has not played in a league game since May 4 because of plantar fasciitis; that game was the second of back-to-back substitute appearance after missing three games, following a hamstring injury suffered early April 2 vs. New York.
• "It's good to have him back on the field," Kinnear said. "In finishing [drills] at the end, he was very solid in front of the net. Now it's just [about] him feeling good and being able to train this week so he can be available for Saturday."