HOUSTON DYNAMO vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM, Houston, Texas
May 15, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #97)
5:30 p.m. PT (ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940 AM)
The Houston Dynamo home faithful don't have to wait long for a second match at BBVA Compass Stadium, when their club plays host to the Portland Timbers on Tuesday night. The Dynamo made the grand opening of their new ground one to remember, a 1-0 win against D.C. United on Saturday afternoon. The Timbers return to action after a 10-day layoff, their last action a scoreless draw at home with the Columbus Crew.
HIGHLIGHTS: Goalkeepers duel in 0-0 draw
- Goalkeepers and defense ruled the evening. Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum had six saves, including another diving effort off a Darlington Nagbe scorcher in the 83rd minute.
- Timbers 'keeper Troy Perkins, sporting a face shield after suffering a boot to the nose last weekend against Montreal, was credited with one save.
- Timbers head coach John Spencer made four changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium. Futty Danso, Mike Chabala, Franck Songo'o and Rodney Wallace came into the side, in place of Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Steven Smith and Jorge Perlaza.
PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins -- Jack Jewsbury, Hanyer Mosquera, Mamadou Danso, Mike Chabala -- Franck Songo'o (Eric Alexander 75), Lovel Palmer, Diego Chara, Rodney Wallace (Mike Fucito 82) -- Kris Boyd, Darlington Nagbe.
Timbers hit the road for Houston
The Timbers were shut out for a second consecutive game, and the club hasn't scored a goal since Kris Boyd netted in the 23rd minute of the 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy on April 14. The lone goal in the win against Sporting KC on April 21 was an own goal.
"We've got to score goals," Timbers head coach John Spencer said. "All we can do is create opportunities. And when you get them, score goals. It's pretty simple. It's not an Excel spreadsheet you're looking at, it's the game of soccer."
It was a second clean sheet for the Timbers in three games, after going the opening six games of the season without one.
"I think the tempo of the game was relentless. We really went after them. There were times we made really bad decisions on our passes, so we got to learn from that," said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "But I think getting a clean sheet and a point is a good start."
Jack Jewsbury moved to right back for the first time since joining the Timbers. Jewsbury did have experience at the position, having made 40 starts at the position while with Kansas City.
It's been awhile," said Jewsbury. "Obviously this week in training, I worked out there a little bit so I got settled in. But it felt pretty good."
Rodney Wallace started on the left side of midfield, the eighth player to start in the midfield this season for the Timbers.
"I've always said that we have unbelievable talent and dangerous guys going forward," Jewsbury said. "And Franck [Songo'o] and Rodney brought a lot of energy on the wings and created some chances. Like I said before, we're a deep, deep team, and when guys get their chances, hopefully they step up and make the most of it. I think guys did that tonight."
Futty Danso made his first start of the season after missing the opening eight matches following a broken foot suffered during preseason.
It's hard," Danso said. "I held up to it, but toward the 89th minute, I started feeling it a little bit. I was feeling a little tired. I kept looking at the clock, but I knew it was five minutes that I had to give to the team."
"Darlington Nagbe moved back to partner Kris Boyd in attack, after making two starts in the midfield. Boyd had a Portland season-high six attempts at goal.
- "I feel like last game we did well up there," Nagbe said. "We created a lot of chances, now we just have to put them away. I don't think it's been a struggle. We've been changing the lineups, and the last game, I think, we had a more successful game attacking-wise and creating chances."
HIGHLIGHTS: Davis wins it for Houston
- The opening of the newest MLS palace needed a touch of magic, and it came from Brad Davis. His left-footed blast from the center of the field, from all of 35 yards out, curled off the outstretched hand of D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid and into the net for the 67th-minute winner.
- Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Andre Hainault came into the back four for Corey Ashe, Je-Vaughn Watson entered the midfield for Luiz Camargo, and Will Bruin and Brian Ching started up top for Macoumba Kandji and Cam Weaver.
HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-2): Tally Hall - Andre Hainault, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor - Calen Carr (Colin Clark 71), Adam Moffat, Je-Vaughn Watson (Luiz Camargo 66), Brad Davis - Will Bruin, Brian Ching (Macoumba Kandji 84).
The victory snapped a five-game winless run for the Dynamo and was their third 1-0 victory this season. They have won every match this year by that scoreline.
Davis scored his second goal of the season, his first since March 17. It was also his first goal from the run of play -- he converted a penalty kick for a 1-0 win against San Jose.
"I got a ball from Andrew [Hainault] and turned. Usually, my option is to go out to Jermaine [Taylor] if I get closed down,î Davis said. I've been striking the ball well during training this past week so I decided to give it a chance and let it fly. When I did, I saw where it was going and knew he was going to get a touch. I just hoped he wouldnít get enough."
Davis was one of four Dynamo originals -- along with Brian Ching, Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron -- who have been with the club since its move from San Jose for the start of the 2006 season.
"I always say I don't care who scores as long as they happen, but it was awesome that Brad did it, being one of the originals," said defender Bobby Boswell. ìI think deep down everyone wanted either Brad or [Brian Ching] to score. The fact that Brad scored and Chingy almost got on the board was awesome."
The Dynamo also recorded their first shutout in six matches, since the 1-0 win in San Jose. They had conceded eight goals over the previous five games.
"I think the guys were trying to get me a goal but itís a game of inches and the inches didnít go my way tonight," said Ching. ìI should have put one away. We should have been cruising at the end but we got the shutout and got back to the way things are. It was a great job by our team, specifically our defense and Tally [Hall]."
While Kinnear rang in the changes for the home opener, with a second match coming some 72 hours later (and third in less than a week), he said he likely make a number of changes to his team again for the Portland match.
- "We are going to change things up. It would be a crime to ask these guys to play 90 minutes again," Kinnear said. "Unfortunately, you don't get the chance to rest with a schedule like this."
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 22.7; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 5; pens: 10
- HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: DF Kofi Sarkodie (R foot sprain); GK Erich Marscheider (R shoulder sprain); FW Brian Ownby (L elbow dislocation) PORTLAND TIMBERS -- OUT: DF Steve Purdy (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: MF Charles Renken (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Kalif Alhassan (R knee sprain); DF Eric Brunner (L hip flexor strain); GK Jake Gleeson (R knee IT band tightness)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kris Boyd, Lovel Palmer
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
- Dynamo won both league meetings a year ago, a 2-1 triumph at Robertson Stadium and a 2-0 win at Jeld-Wen Field.
- Coaches record: Dominic Kinnear vs. POR: P2 W2 L0 D0 ... John Spencer v HOU: P2 W0 L2 D0