Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Dynamo face a must-win
scenario on Sunday when the club closes its regular season slate against D.C.
United at RFK Stadium.
Coming into the final match of the season, Houston sits in sixth place in the
Eastern Conference with 48 points. To reach the postseason, they need to beat
United and get some help from other results.
A victory over D.C. United will put the Dynamo up to 51 points and into the
top five temporarily, but to stay there they need some help from other clubs.
Houston will need to beat D.C. and hope that New England Revolution, Chicago
Fire or Montreal Impact drop points in their final matches.
But the Dynamo, which suffered a disjointed 3-0 loss to Red Bull New York at
BBVA Compass last week, aren't taking last-place United lightly.
Having already won the U.S. Open Cup and looking towards next season, United's
players will be playing for spots on next year's roster and playing with
nothing to lose.
"The one year that we didn't make the playoffs  I think we won our last
couple of games. It was just nothing-to-lose soccer, a lot of new guys out
there getting a chance to show," Dynamo -- and ex-United -- defender Bobby
Boswell said earlier this week.
We knocked them out of the playoffs last year, what better redemption than to
knock us out? But that's their job, you get paid to win the game. And we're
going to go out there and try to get a result, move on, be back in the
playoffs, that's where we want to be."
Dynamo captain Brad Davis agreed:
"Sometimes it's the most difficult to play a team that has nothing to lose,"
Davis remarked. "The might have guys out there trying to prove a point, trying
to make the team possibly for next year, prove to their coach they belong on
the team, and sometimes that can be some of the most difficult teams to play
against. So it's definitely going to be a rough game for us and we will need
to go in there and get a win."
United, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City at
Sporting Park last time out.
D.C. fell behind early as Dominic Dwyer capitalized on a poor back pass from
United defender Perry Kitchen and slotted the ball past and out-of-position
Bill Hamid in the seventh minute for the game's only goal.
"For about 15 minutes, we were bullied," United head coach Ben Olsen said. "We
warned the guys that it would be a fast paced, physical opening to the game. I
didn't think we had the right bite to us.
When we go down a goal, about twenty minutes in, we start getting it. We start
understanding this is a man's game. I thought for the rest of the game that we
were the better team, but it doesn't matter, it does not matter. When you
don't play the full game, a good team like Kansas City, they'll bite you and
they'll bite you early."
The Sports Network