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MLS Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 12, 2012 (All times Eastern)

D.C. United (5-3-3) at Houston (2-3-2), 4:30 p.m.

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Houston Dynamo ended their seven-match road trip to open the season on a five-game winless skid, but coach Dominic Kinnear is excited to open BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, and play more often.

Houston started off the season well with two road victories, but just two ties followed over the next five games. Kinnear actually thought the limited amount of early-season games hurt his club.

Now, Kinnear will get a chance to test his theory.

Houston (2-3-2) starts its home slate against D.C. United (5-3-3), and it will be the second of five games in an 18-day stretch.

"(Being on the road) is not so bad," Kinnear said. "I just wished we had more games played; the breaks in between games were too much.

"To be able to play in a new stadium that's very exciting. We've been playing for three months now and it's only been seven games, you want to get into a rhythm of playing games instead of training all the time."

The Dynamo ended their road swing with a 1-0 loss to Red Bull New York earlier this week and, after Saturday's match, return to action Tuesday when it hosts the Portland Timbers at BBVA.

Games against the New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy follow, as the Dynamo play five times in May, almost as much as they did in the first two months.

Even after Wednesday's loss to New York, Houston midfielder Brad Davis thought the team played well, and just has to take advantage of its opportunities.

"I feel like we were the better team and we moved the ball well and had the chances," Davis said. "We're very disappointed about this."

United wraps up a three-fixture road swing at Houston, and is coming off a 2-0 win over winless Toronto FC. Its loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on May 2 was its only loss since mid-April, as D.C. is 5-1-3 in its last nine games.

In addition to the win, United posted its first shutout since early April, and that was with a makeshift backline that included Andy Najar at right back.

"If you look at (the back four) it was an attacking lineup," said D.C. central defender Brandon McDonald. "Andy is flying up and down, (Chris) Korb is the same way. There were just more attacking options for us to keep the ball."

Goalkeeper Bill Hamid liked what he saw with the new defense, even if it might not be a long-term solution for coach Ben Olsen.

"Every last player was first class," Hamid said. "It was a makeshift back line because this is a tough stretch of games, but we have faith in every single player on this team."

Offensively, Hamdi Salihi bagged a goal in his second straight game, and if he can break out, United's offense should become even better as the season rolls on.

"Normally when you don't score, you are angry with yourself. You lose a bit of confidence, but I always try to believe in myself, and wait for my moments," said Salihi.

"And I knew when the first goal came, the second, third, and fourth ones would be easier."

United will need more this weekend, as it has never won in Houston all-time in six previous visits. Add in the fact Houston will want to mark the opening of its new stadium with a win, D.C.'s first-ever win in Houston may have to wait.

05/11 15:56:55 ET