Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
MLS champ Houston has some holes to fill
by Ridge Mahoney, April 2nd, 2008 6:45AM

TAGS:  mls


[PREVIEW] The 2007 MLS champion has yet to hit its stride and is in the midst of a stretch that would be tough for any team, even one that has all its players healthy and available. The Dynamo is missing a few bodies for its semifinal, first leg encounter with Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica in the Concacaf Champions Cup Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel), but it could have two players added from the squad that lost in feeble fashion to New England, 3-0, in its MLS opener last weekend.

Right back Craig Waibel and midfielder Ricardo Clark will be available; both were notable by their absence last Saturday. Brian Mullan struggled at right back in Waibel's place and Richard Mulrooney, while diligent, doesn't have the range and pace Clark brings to the central midfield.

A knee problem will sideline Mullan against Deportivo Saprissa and also injured are midfielders Brad Davis (groin) and Stuart Holden (ankle). Defender Eddie Robinson is bothered by a sore back but is expected to play.

Deportivo Saprissa stunned Mexican club Atlante, 3-0, in the second leg of their quarterfinal series to win, 4-2, on aggregate. Two own goals helped its cause, but the club that was bought by Chivas Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara several years ago has dominated the Costa Rican First Division this season.

The club features several players who have faced the U.S. national team many times playing for Costa Rica: midfielder Walter Centeno, forward Ronald Gomez, and defender Jervis Drummond and Gabriel Badilla. Armando Alonso finished off a long pass from Gomez for the vital third goal (on aggregate) against Atlante.

Houston coach Dominic Kinnear is still auditioning candidates to partner forward Brian Ching. Chris Wondolowski started against New England and was replaced by young Argentine Franco Caraccio; neither played effectively against the Revs, and a quiet game for Dwayne De Rosario further impaired the Dynamo attack.

In the quarterfinal round against CSD Municipal, De Rosario and midfielder Corey Ashe carried much of the attacking load. DeRosario followed up on a ball kept alive by Ching to score the first; Ashe earned a penalty kick that DeRosario converted to score the second; and another determined run by Ashe set up Wondolowksi for the third.

Houston resumes MLS play Sunday at home against Western Conference rival FC Dallas, then heads to San Jose, Costa Rica for the second leg against Deportivo Saprissa, which is followed by consecutive away games at Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Columbus. For the Dynamo, the end of April can't come soon enough.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
NASL's Jacksonville banks on Tony Meola    
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola, whose previous coaching experience since retiring as a player in ...
Video Pick: Messi proves he's fully recovered    
Lionel Messi, out of Barcelona's starting lineup for two months because of a knee injury, scored ...
Red Bulls' success nets Marsch Coach of the Year honors    
Inexperienced head coaches don't often flourish in MLS, yet in just his second season as a ...
TV Report: El Clasico draws 1.87 million BeIN Sports viewers    
The Real Madrid-Barcelona game on beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Espanol drew a combined television ...
What They're Saying: Rangers manager Mark Warburton    
"I have been delighted with his contribution and the last game he played for Rangers was ...
What They're Saying: Chinese sports commentator Huang Jianxiang    
"Evergrande's ability to succeed confirms that if the government gets out of Chinese soccer and gives ...
What They're Saying: Ethan Horvath    
"The way we've been playing in Europa League, maybe now a team doesn't want to draw ...
Bob Bradley leads Normandy landing    
It isn't every day that a former World Cup coach arrives to coach a Ligue 2 ...
Jill Ellis named 2015 NSCAA Honorary All-American    
Jill Ellis, head coach of the U.S. women's national team that won the 2015 Women's World ...
WCQ: USA headed back to Columbus in March    
Unbeaten in eight World Cup qualifiers since it opened in 1999 -- more games than at ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives