MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 10, 2008
(All times Eastern)
Colorado (3-3-0) at Houston (0-2-4), 7:30 p.m.
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The back-to-back defending Major League Soccer
Cup champion Houston Dynamo will be gunning for their first win of the 2008
season on Saturday night when they host the Colorado Rapids.
The struggling Dynamo are currently tied with the expansion San Jose
Earthquakes for last place in the entire league, with just four points after
six contests while Colorado is tied atop the Western table with nine points.
"As far as four points out of six games, four ties, and you know if you look
at it, you play those games a little different," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear
said. "You may come out with more points, so just the bounces going our way,
the goalkeeper making some good saves, good defending, some calls that the
referees that some put in their pocket that benefit you, and we're just not
getting the right bounce. But the effort and the attitude of the guys are spot
on and it's never in question. And that message is always passed on from the
The Dynamo are coming off a scoreless draw with Chivas USA in their last
league fixture, and while the team's early season defensive woes seem to have
been corrected, their offense is second-to-last in the league.
"Frustrating night, a lot of chances, need a goal to break us out of our
slump; obviously, they came here for a reason, tie the game, get a point,"
Kinnear said after the draw with Chivas USA.
"We're getting a half inch away from scoring, but we are a strong team
mentally and physically," Houston midfielder Corey Ashe said.
The Rapids, on the other hand, are coming off a win over D.C. United in which
former D.C. midfielder Christian Gomez controlled the flow of the game from
his central role on the Rapids' squad while pitching in two assists in a 2-0
"We brought (Christian Gomez) here with the expectations that he would be the
player that we saw out there today," Colorado coach Fernando Clavijo said
after the win. "When he plays with two strikers he can move around the field.
He will start the play and that is what he were looking for."
The Rapids switched to a two forward formation after using a lone forward with
Gomez as an underneath forward for the first five games of the season. The
strategy seemed to work as the win snapped a two game losing streak and
generated more offense for the Rocky Mountain club. Omar Cummings and Tom
McManus manned the forward positions with Gomez filling a more familiar
attacking midfield role.
"If you look at today, everybody works hard," Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul
said after the win. "If you play 4-5-1, the striker cannot do everything. He
cannot run, run, run. The next thing you know, he's going to stop working. But
when you got two guys, one runs, one rests, and we have the midfield, like
(Gomez), free to do passes and all those things. So this is a challenge for
"Two forwards are much more dangerous than one forward," Rapids forward
Herculez Gomez said. "It maximizes Christian's strengths. He'll be the first
one to tell you he doesn't feel comfortable playing up front. With two
forwards there was more movement. It made things easier on everybody,
defenders and midfielders, created more space, more opportunities. Especially
in our pitch, it got us pressuring in the right places."
05/08 15:26:51 ET