The New England Revolution are set to take on newly-minted Eastern Conference rivals Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium this evening. Neither team is a huge fan of the other and their clashes tend to be chippy and contentious affairs.
The key for the Revs today is going to be setting the tempo early and containing Brad Davis. The Dynamo haven' t shown much dominance or potency so far this season - the recent victory over Vancouver notwithstanding- so getting ahead early could force the Dynamo to press too hard and open up more opportunities for New England on the break. Brad Davis torched the Revolution in the preseason and he's the key to everything the Dynamo do offensively. If the Revs can shackle him, they should be able to keep a clean sheet.
Here are some notes on this match:
- New England and Houston have met 10 times in the overall MLS regular-season series, with the Revs holding a 6-1-3 record against the Dynamo … the Revolution is 6-2-5 against the Dynamo in all competitions, including the MLS Cup playoffs and SuperLiga.
- New England is undefeated against the Dynamo in matches played in Houston, boasting a 4-0-1 record at Robertson Stadium since Houston entered the league in 2006.
- The Revs are 2-1-2 against the Dynamo in regular-season action at Gillette Stadium …New England’s first - and only - loss to Houston came in Foxborough on May 3, 2009, a 2-0 defeat at Gillette Stadium.
- Sunday’s meeting will be the first of two matches in the teams’ 2011 regular-season series … the teams will also meet on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Gillette Stadium.
- New England and Houston have met in three tournament finals in the last six years (MLS Cup 2006, MLS Cup 2007, SuperLiga 2008) … Houston won the 2006 MLS title match in penalty kicks after extra time finished 1-1 in Frisco, Texas, and then one year later took the 2007 championship with a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory in Washington, D.C. … the Revs won SuperLiga 2008 in penalty kicks after the teams were knotted at 2-2 after extra time at Gillette Stadium.
- Houston’s 2-0 win over New England on May 3, 2009, was the first time the Revs were ever shut out by the Dynamo, and it was also the Revs’ only loss to Houston.
- The Revolution has been out-shot by the Dynamo, 134-91, in the regular-season series, yet has out-scored Houston, 15-8.
Finally, this will see the debut of Rajko Lekic. His ITC went through the other day and he traveled with the team to Texas. Thus, he is in the starting lineup.
I'll have the lineups after the jump, along with your comments!
Revolution: Reis; Barnes, Soares, Coria, Alston; Tierney, McCarthy, Boggs; Schilawski, Lekic, Perovic
Bench: Loewy, Mansally, Stolica, Dube, Nyassi, Shuttleworth, Cochrane
Dynamo: Hall; Freeman, Boswell, Hainault, Ashe; Cruz, Cameron, Palmer, Davis; Weaver, Bruin
Bench: Robinson, Clark, Sarkodie, Garey, Chabala, Dixon, Deric