Game #27 Preview: Houston at Philadelphia

Posted on 01 October 2010 by Breton Bonnette

After the most convincing win of the season, the Union travelled to Colorado to take on a Rapids squad deeply entrenched in a battle for the playoffs. Unfortunately, they countered one of the highest highs with a low capable of dashing Union supporters hopes for postseason action. The Union, however, aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoff race although it’s virtually impossible for them to grab that last spot. Regardless, Houston awaits, looking to gain momentum heading into the 2011 season after their 2010 campaign fell short of everyone’s expectations. The new-look Dynamo sit second-to-last in the Western Conference (but Chivas USA has a game in hand) and present the Union with an opportunity to push for double digit wins in their last homestand.

Houston Dynamo at Philadelphia Union
Saturday, October 2, 2010, 4:00PM
PPL Park, Chester, PA

Houston Dynamo Probable Starters (7-14-5)

————————–Deric——————————

Mulrooney—–Serioux——Cochrane——Hainault

Ashe————Palmer——-Cameron———–Davis

——————Ngwenya——-Ching——————–

OUT: MF Colin Clark (L knee surgery); MF Anthony Obodai (L knee meniscus); DOUBTFUL: GK Pat Onstad (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: GK Tally Hall (R ankle sprain)

Philadelphia Union Probable Starters (7-13-6)

————————Knighton—————————-

Williams——Califf————Orozco F.——–Harvey

—————-Jacobson——-Miglioranzi—————

Mapp—————————————————-Fred

—————–Le Toux———Moreno——————-

QUESTIONABLE: MF Eduardo Coudet (R calf strain); FW Danny Mwanga (L shoulder sprain); PROBABLE: MF Stefani Miglioranzi (L shin contusion)

Just because both teams lead their respective conferences in goals allowed, one shouldn’t expect a goalfest. The potential is there but the Union have shown themselves to be formidable in the back at PPL Park. Brian Ching may not be as silky smooth on the ball as Colorado’s Omar Cummings but he has the ability to kill off a team single-handedly, especially when you run him up front with speedsters like Dominic Oduro and Joseph Ngwenya.

Speed kills with Houston so the Union flanks must be wary of Corey Ashe or rookie Danny Cruz. Regardless of who plays for the Dynamo, they need to be watched. There’s two sides to the scenario, however. Cruz and Ashe are both known as defensive liabilities.

The Union could be facing a Houston academy product in his first MLS start if back up keeper Tally Hall can’t go for the Dynamo. Regular netminder Pat Onstad is out injured with Hall hampered as well and Tyler Deric is next in line on the depth chart. Should be interesting to see how he deals with the vocal presence of the River End in his first Major League Soccer start.

Many Union fans are wondering if and when Jack McInerney will get a little more time on the pitch. Sure, he has almost everyone of the Union’s “consolation” goals this season but he scores and that finish vs. Colorado was pure class. Another guy fans are clamoring for – Shea Salinas.

Before Wednesday night, it had been a little over a solid month since the defense gave up more than one goal in a game. It was also looking like Brad Knighton had to no continued competition from Chris Seitz for the starting keeper position. Both were shot down as the Union fell 4-1. Knighton will remain – even after a soft rebound led to a Rapids goal – and the defense should use this run of games at home to reset themselves.

Quote of the Day: Hackworth’s curt statement, “That was not our team” after the 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Colorado.

Prediction: The Union will have played three games in the last week after Houston but the PPL Park effect still prevails. Let’s call it 2-1 Union.

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