New England Soccer Today

First Touch: #ForeverOrange

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Thanks to conference realignment and a change at the helm in Houston, Saturday’s Revolution-Dynamo clash will be unlike any other played between the longtime rivals.

Although the Dynamo originally began play in the Western Conference, they’d often meet the Revolution on multiple occasions during the regular season. After back-to-back MLS Cup meetings in 2006 and 2007, that rivalry only intensified when the Dynamo joined the Eastern Conference in 2011.

Now, with the Dynamo back in the west, and an unbalanced schedule in place, Saturday’s match will be the only regular season meeting between the sides.

Another significant development that makes this match even stranger: the absence of longtime manager Dominic Kinnear, who left for San Jose (along with assistant and former Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston) during the offseason.

With Owen Coyle now in charge, the Dynamo that we see on Saturday will be playing a different kind of football than the variety we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Houston over the years.

Here’s what to know about the once-familiar foe:

*While Kinnear may be gone, there’ll still be a handful recognizable faces on the field come Saturday. Brad Davis still uses his magical left foot to deliver picturesque crosses and corner kicks, while Giles Barnes and Will Bruin remain threats in the final third.

*Though Davis, 33, isn’t getting any younger, the squad still relies on his set piece abilities to strengthen their offense. In fact, their 11 set piece goals is tied for the most in MLS, along with Sporting Kansas City.

*A noticeable change for the Dynamo under Coyle: the drop in overall physicality. When Kinnear was at the helm, Houston prided itself on disrupting their opponent’s tempo through the use of fouls, something that often unnerved the Revolution. Through its first 23 games with Coyle in charge, the Dynamo rank 13th in fouls per game (12.9) and 18th in tackles per game (15.8).

*Another stat that should come as a relief to Revolution supporters, in particular: the Dynamo are only one of three teams that have not scored from the spot this season.

*The Dynamo are the last Western Conference foe the Revolution will face during the regular season.

*Here’s a look at how the Dynamo looked during their latest outing, a 2-1 win over San Jose last weekend:

Leave a Reply