Lots of emotion is being drummed up for tonight’s Houston Dynamo (8-5-7) v. Montreal Impact (7-12-3) Eastern Conference match up.
From the Impact picking Brian Ching in the expansion draft, to an Impact employee confronting Adam Moffat in the tunnel after he was ejected in a a 4-2 loss at Montreal to two coaches who don’t like each other their are clearly emotional lines to be drawn.
The game can be seen on Local 2 NBC Sports at 7:30 with pre-game being hosted by Randy McIlvoy while Eddie Robinson and I will have the game call.
WHERE DOES MOTIVATION COME FROM?
Still the main motivation for the Dynamo has to be the mere fact that Montreal took it to them the last time they played beating them 4-2. That clearly has to be a motivating factor for players.
This is also the last time the Dynamo lost and the following game against Philadelphia is when the Dynamo opted to go to a 4-3-3 under Dominic Kinnear.
It was a game that has helped to turn the Dynamo in a different direction as well as the significant signing of DP Boniek Garcia from Honduras.
Since then the Dynamo are undefeated in their last five.
There is no question that emotional control is the order of the day without stunting a passion and aggression. Someone on this night will lose their head likely. Lets not forget the Dynamo have played their last two games which both involved red card ejections to the opposition.
With a third game in 8 days one knows that some players are carrying slight injuries and fatigue will play into this.
PLAYING A MAN UP
The Dynamo have played 118 minutes in their last two games with a man advantage out of 180 minutes.
TACTICAL SET UP
Montreal will come out in a system that likely will be a 4-2-3-1. Essentially look for them to play with a five man midfield as manager Jesse Marsch is trying to continue to make his team “difficult to play against”.
Although they have conceded the most goals of any team in MLS they are coming off one of their better collective defending efforts of the year against NE in a 2-1 win.
They won’t open up except on the counter attack through the likes of Nyassi, Mapp, DiVaio with Felipe and Patrice Bernier pulling the strings via the pass.
Felipe and Bernier both have attacking instincts so it will be interesting to see if they can be disciplined from a balance and defensive perspective.
The Dynamo will continue in their 4-3-3 set up.
GAME’S FIRST GOAL
This will be a key for the Dynamo as they will be challenged to break down a deeper defending team. With the majority of possession they will need to be alert when the ball is lost in transition as to snuff out potential counter attacks.
The high scoring former Bologna striker has been capped by Italy 14 times.
I sense he is frustrated as he has yet to score in 6 games.
He is experienced and can check back to the ball in midfield. His ability to turn has to be respected.
There is no doubt the signing of Italians in Montreal comes down to trying to connect with that element of the community. It also means some excellent players but injury has hit them.
Striker Bernardo Corradi who played at Lazio is out with an acl injury, Matteo Ferrari who played at Parma and Roma is also out injured, as is Colombian Nelson Rivas who played at Inter Milan.
World Cup winner Alessandro Nesta is in Houston and is not expected to start.
Montreal went to the airport yesterday at 7am but did not arrive to Houston till around 6pm after having mechanical problems and a day at the airport. Not exactly the perfect day prior to a game.
The situation is nebulous as to if Cameron is a Dynamo player or a Stoke player.
A transfer fee believed to be 3 million has been agreed upon between MLS and Stoke.
Now the deal is contingent upon Cameron coming to contract terms with the EPL squad.
Apparently this is close.
He then must be presented to a tribunal to determine if he gets a work permit or not.
The Dynamo have only conceded two goals in in their last five games where they have gone undefeated.
The 4-3-3 system has placed three central midfield players in front of Bobby Boswell and Jermaine Taylor. Essentially lots of strength and bodies central making it difficult to play direct through the Dynamo.
It has made it more comfortable for the two Dynamo cb’s as prior to the change teams were running through the Dynamo midfield far too easily in the 4-4-2.
Wide areas are generally the area of vulnerability in this system in transition, when the ball is lost.
Tally Hall had very little to do against Sporting KC in the 2-1 win.
BIG NIGHT FOR BEAR
Will Bruin has 10 goals and likely will break the single season high of 13 from Brian Ching this year. He has been far more comfortable and effective in the three man front in the last two games after seeming to be a bit lost will learning the system.
His improvement coincides with the Dynamo getting better in the system after getting the defensive side of it down.
He likely will play again central with Calen Carr coming off a two goal performance out wide.
THREE WINS AT HOME
Would be a great achievement to take a third win on this homestand. The Dynamo are two for two over both DC United and Sporting KC who are at the top of the East.
Montreal will be motivated because a win tonight brings them into the playoff picture.
The Montreal def/mid has been injured and not in the lineup since early in the year.
He hails from Houston and returns tonight.
POST GAME RADIO
Don’t forget to join the fun at the live post game radio show at the Southwest gate. Dynamo players will be on hand plus listen in to callers post game.
Call in at 713-212-5790.
INJURY REPORT: Dynamo Adam Moffat questionable
Impact: Matteo Ferrari, Nelson Rivas, Bernardo Corradi, Andrew Wenger out