MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 21, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Houston (2-1-1) at Columbus (2-3-0), 7:30 p.m.
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Houston Dynamo continues its season-opening
road trip on Saturday at the Columbus Crew with Houston hoping to snap a streak
of futility against Robert Warzycha's side.
Houston's last win against Columbus came on Aug. 2, 2008, with the Crew owning
a 3-0-3 mark against the Dynamo since that time.
But if Columbus is continue its dominance over the visitors on Saturday, the
club will need to overcome a number of injury concerns.
The Crew has been hit especially hard in defense, with goalkeeper Will Hesmer
likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery, while
defenders Julius James, Carlos Mendes, Danny O'Rourke and Rich Balchan have
each struggled with injuries.
James will be out for an extended period of time because of a collapsed lung,
with his fellow defenders each in different stages of their recovery.
Mendes could be fit in time to feature on Saturday, while both Chad Marshall
and Josh Williams were forced to miss practice time this week because of a
virus which has been going through the team.
The rash of injuries has been a source of frustration for Warzycha, who feels
as though his side would be in a better position if fully healthy.
"It's unbelievable that we have so many injuries at that one position,"
Warzycha said. "We'd probably be much better if we had everybody healthy. We'd
be going game-to-game with guys that really have some experience but
unfortunately for us we have injuries."
Columbus has lost its last two games and will be looking to return to the win
column, and so too will Houston, which is coming off of a weather-shortened 1-1
draw against the Chicago Fire.
The Dynamo won its first two games of the road trip before earning one point
from its last two.
Houston's draw with the Fire came after 65 minutes because of inclement
weather, but it left some players a bit frustrated.
"It was a tough start to the game for us, but I think we came back and fought
well," goalkeeper Tally Hall told the media after the match. "It was
disappointing because I thought the team was playing its best soccer when the
second lightning delay happened - we were on our front foot, game stops and so
Two wins away from home matches the club's total for all of last season, when
the Dynamo went 2-6-9 on the road.
So the fact that Houston has seven points from four away games is a good total
for striker Brian Ching.
"Coming away with a result is a good thing, especially on the road and it's
another point for us," Ching said. "I always point to our record on the road
last year and think we're off to a great start this year."
Houston will remain on the road for two more games and then head home to begin
a stretch of five home games in seven matches.
04/20 16:30:17 ET