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First road game victory; RSL up next
Thursday, 13 May 2010
**Join us at Ernie's on Banks (at 1010 Banks near Montrose) for tonight's match.**

The Dynamo continued their W-L-W-L pattern following up last weekís loss to Dallas with a win at Chivas USA on Saturday night. Having played a number of games in quick succession, Coach Kinnear looked to his bench for fresh legs giving starts to Craig Waibel and Adrian Serioux for the first time this season. In addition, he abandoned his traditional 4-4-2 formation for a hybrid 4-5-1/4-3-3 leaving Dominic Oduro as the only true forward on the field. The win was Houstonís first on the road this season.

In April, the Dynamo triumphed over Chivas with the help of two goals in the gameís first 20 minutes, eventually sealing the deal in the 65th minute. This time, the Dynamo scored two goals in even less time.

Brian Mullan, Chivas USA's Blair Gavin
Image from 04.17.10 match in Houston

In the 4th minute, Brian Mullan played a perfect 30 yard pass from the midfieldís right side to Brad Davis. With Chivas goalie Zach Thornton in no manís land, Davis was able to beat his man to the ball and delicately chip Thornton to lob the goal into the back of the net. The goal seemed to surprise even Davis. Just four minutes later, the Dynamo would double their tally with a corner kick. Davis perfectly placed it for a completely unmarked Serioux and he made no mistake. The pace on the header left Thornton with no chance and Houston was up 2-0 by the 10th minute.

In all honesty, that was about it for the Dynamo. Chivas USA held possession for long stretches after but failed to create clear-cut scoring opportunities. Resolute defending by the Dynamo led by Serioux would ensure the three points for the team.

With the win, the team moves on to Salt Lake City where they will play their fourth game in 13 days (tonight, 8 p.m. on ESPN2).

Dynamo injury updates
Richard Mulrooney started against Chivas USA, his first start since suffering his knee injury. Brian Ching should get minutes against Real Salt Lake. Most importantly, it doesnít look like any new injuries were sustained on Saturday night so the Dynamo should be relatively healthy going into tonightís match.

Real will be coming off their win over the expansion Philadelphia Union. Much like the first game of the season, La Naranja will have to keep an eye on playmaker Javier Morales although forward Alvaro Saborio has proven to be dangerous as well.

My first losing streak of the season is upon us but given the circumstances, Iím OK with it. Games in Salt Lake City are typically gritty and low scoring and I see no reason why things will be different this time around. The Dynamo should be able to break the W-L-W-L pattern they seem to be in right now but it wonít be with a win.

Prediction:
RSL 1, Dynamo 1

Season Prediction Record: 5-3

 
Dallas win El Capitan; Chivas USA up next
Friday, 07 May 2010
Someone should tell Dallas fans that you actually donít get a permanent trophy for beating Houston. You do get a cannon but you donít get to keep it, though my understanding is that it has been residing all by its lonesome in Pizza Hut Park for the last few years anyway, but I digress.

The Men in Orange continued their pattern of performing consistently inconsistent, losing to their in-state rivals at home for the first time ever. Despite being up a man for the last 20 minutes of the game, Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu scored the game winner, sending the 40 fans from Frisco home ecstatic with a 1-0 win.

Brad Davis A deserved win?
Neither team deserved the three points. Dallas tested Onstad in quick succession in the first half with two powerful shots from distance. Beyond that, their opportunities were limited. The Dynamo squandered two golden chances in the second half. A clever run and pass from Landin set up Davis with an empty net, one touch too many allowed Dallas defender Heath Pearce to get back and clear his attempt off the line.

As the game was drawing to an end, Davis had another golden opportunity from short distance but Dallas defense was able to poke the ball off of Davisí foot to a thankful Kevin Hartman. In the end, Dallas showed enough grit and strength and just enough class to win the game.

The Houston players and staff will tell you that the performance wasnít good enough. After looking fantastic against the Wizards the weekend before, the team was unable to build on that performance. Earlier in the season, the team was fantastic against Chivas USA before hitting the road and playing poorly against the Fire. That same Chivas USA team hosts La Naranja this Saturday night.

Chivas hasnít lost a game since last monthís 3-0 loss at Robertson, which includes a 4-0 walloping of the New England Revolution at Foxboro last Wednesday. In short, this is a different team. Dynamo fans may not want to hear that as they hope to see their team post their first away win this season.

Prediction:
My winning streak came to an end as I backed the Men in Orange to beat Dallas 2-0. Expect a loss at Home Depot Center. The Dynamo havenít fared well away from Robertson this season. Chivas USAís results have. Chingís possible return is countered by the fact that Eddie Robinson is set to miss at least two weeks following a knee injury sustained against Dallas. Letís hope my prediction leads to a losing streak for myself and not a losing streak for the Orange.

Prediction:
Chivas USA 2, Dynamo 1

Season Prediction Record: 5-2

 
Wizards too weak for the Orange
Tuesday, 04 May 2010
Landin and Oduro

The Dynamo defeated the Kansas City Wizards 3-0 Saturday night putting them in second place in the Western Conference and continuing their best start in franchise history. Good performances from a number of Dynamo midfielders and forwards and a first half red card on Kansas Cityís Davy Arnaud made the job relatively easy as the Dynamo dominated their opponent for the second time in as many home games.

This past weekend Coach Kinnear reverted to his more traditional formation giving Landin the start at forward and Mullan his familiar midfield role. With Corey Ashe starting on the left in order to allow Brad Davis to replace the injured Geoff Cameron in the middle, the new personnel dominated virtually from the opening whistle. Kansas City had only a handful of half chances all game.

The tandem between the two forwards, Oduro and Landin, worked effectively as Landin played his role as the holdup forward using his strength and technique to retain possession and release other players into the attack, while Oduro used his amazing pace and some good technique at times to pressure the KC defenders. Meanwhile Mullan had an absolute field day attacking the KCís defense on the left side. He was constantly toeing the offside line and gave the Dynamo attack width that it hasnít seen for quite some time.

Landin's goal celebration In the 24th minute, the pressure paid off. An outlet ball from Corey Ashe followed by a deft ball from Landin sent Oduro on his way as he once again used his pace to put the Wizard defense on his heels. With Landin following the play, Oduro slotted the ball to Landin who managed to chip goalie Jimmy Nielsen as he rushed out to close the angle.

The goal was Landinís second for the Dynamo and oddly enough, both have come against Kansas City. As the better team through the first 30 minutes, the Men in Orangeís job was nonetheless made easier when native Texan Arnaud was sent off with a straight red in the 33rd minute. The questionable card came when Arnaud made contact with Onstad after the goalkeeper had a hand on a loose ball.

Wave after wave of Dynamo attacks would eventually lead to goals. When Landin was able to gain possession at the midfield stripe after a Nielsen goal kick and quickly pick out Mullan in stride on the right. With the Wizardsí defense giving him space, Mullan took it before finishing far post from the edge of the penalty box. That goal would effectively end the game.

Landin, Oduro and Mullan all had great opportunities to add a third but none of them were able to. Instead, it was second half substitute Sammy Appiah who would add the icing on the cake. Oduro played a perfect ball cross field to Appiah who was making the run at the far post. Appiah hit it first time off the inside of the post scoring his first goal in his first MLS appearance.

The victory came at an ideal time as the game marked the beginning of four games in the next 13 days and allowed the team to put the poor performance against Chicago behind them. Next the Dynamo will play in-state rival FC Dallas on Wednesday at Robertson Stadium.

 
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