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
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
(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
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
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
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.