The first half at BBVA Compass Stadium hasn't featured much by way of chances, but it has had two injuries and two red cards, so it's not like it's been a match short on controversy. Both the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo are at ten men after referee Edvin Jurisevic elected to handle a scuffle in the box by ejecting both players involved.
Dimitry Imbongo and Bobby Boswell were the culprits. A rivalry had been building all game between the two, with Boswell showing some open animosity toward Imbongo early on, but it all came to a head in the 37th minute after a Lee Nguyen free kick. Boswell landed a cheap shot on Imbongo, headbutting the striker in the face, and Imbongo responded by tossing Boswell to the ground. After several minutes in which players from both sides got into some shoving and other extra-curriculars, the referee sent off both players.
Previous to that moment, the clearest chance of the game fell to Houston when Giles Barnes somehow sent a point-blank header wide when he was unmarked on a corner. Imbongo had seen three or four good chances to get behind the defense, but failed to uncork a decent shot - or any at all, in some cases - to test Tally Hall.
Juan Agudelo came on for Ryan Guy, who left the match injured. It's Agudelo's Revolution debut, and when Imbongo was sent off, he moved up top. Jermaine Taylor had to leave the game for the Dynamo, with Eric Brunner coming on as his replacement.
The Revs had 55% of the possession in the half, though most of it lacked quality. It hasn't exactly been a banner stretch of soccer for either team, and both will be looking to put on a better performance in the second half.