Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake will
test their respective unbeaten runs when the two sides meet at BBVA Compass
Stadium on Sunday.
Houston was riding a six-game winless streak until a 4-1 demolition of Chivas
USA got the club back on track. A narrow defeat of the Columbus Crew on
Wednesday has even helped the Dynamo improve to 14 points to see the club
climb into a four-way tie for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Will Bruin netted the lone tally of Houston's defeat of Columbus on Wednesday,
his third consecutive match with a goal. It was something of an awkward finish
for Bruin, who rose above the Crew defense to get his shoulder to a Brad Davis
free kick and send the ball over the line, but it was the type of goal that
often accompanies a hot streak.
"I've been doing a lot of shrugs in the gym, and I just shrugged it over the
goal," Bruin told media members after Wednesday's affair. "I'm just trying to
get in the box, get on the end of service and I'll take if it just redirects
off my gut and goes in."
Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, has yet to taste defeat in league play under the
guidance of first-year head coach Jeff Cassar.
The Claret and Cobalt are the last remaining MLS team without a loss this
season, but it has not necessarily been a smooth ride.
Salt Lake was made to come from two goals down to take maximum points from its
last outing as Joao Plata netted a stoppage-time winner in a 3-2 defeat of the
"This team has unbelievable character," Cassar said. "It's a credit to them.
They knew that they had it in them, and you could just see with that first
goal, all we needed was that goal to get it going and build the confidence.
After they got the second one, they were like, 'we might win this game.' It's
unbelievable how they want to continue to push and go for wins on the road.
They'll need to exhibit some character in Sunday's affair in order to achieve
something Real Salt Lake never has before: win a match at Houston.
The Claret and Cobalt have managed just a single point from their travels to
Houston, going 0-8-1 in their nine road matches against the Dynamo. That
record speaks volumes not only about the competitive side that Dominic Kinnear
has fielded over the years, but also about the fierce playing conditions in
"It's not the end-all, be-all, but it's definitely a factor," RSL defender Nat
Borchers told the club's official website regarding Houston's harsh weather.
"You live in a climate like this and then you go some of these places where
it's hot and humid and you're not used to it. You make poor decisions when
you're tired, and that weather definitely gets you tired."