Crew-Dynamo Preview

The Houston Dynamo have not beaten the Columbus Crew in more

than four years, but have to like their chances of ending that

drought at their brand-new BBVA Compass Stadium.

The Dynamo are one of two unbeaten home teams in MLS heading

into Sunday night’s matchup with the Crew, who could debut

Designated Player Federico Higuain.

Houston (11-6-7) is 0-3-4 against Columbus (8-8-5) since a 2-0

victory Aug. 2, 2008. These teams played to a 2-2 draw in Ohio on

April 21.

The Dynamo, however, have never lost at their new stadium, going

8-0-3 to match New York for the league’s best home record this

season. Houston has outscored foes 11-1 during a four-game home win


Midfielder Ricardo Clark, recently re-acquired by the Dynamo, is

eager to play his first game in the new stadium. Clark began his

second stint with Houston by logging 15 minutes in last Friday’s

2-0 road loss to the Red Bulls. He could be in line for his first


“I’m looking forward to it,” Clark told the Dynamo’s official

website. “I want to come back to a new stadium and it’s not that

bad of a return. I’m just looking forward to it and am hoping we

get a good result.”

Houston had its five-game win streak snapped last Friday. The

Dynamo had conceded only one goal over their previous seven


The end of the streak hasn’t dented Houston’s belief it can

finish atop the tightly packed Eastern Conference.

“Early on in the season we weren’t winning every game, but we

stayed confident and then we got on a roll,” forward Will Bruin

said. “We’re not losing confidence, we know we’re a good team and

have good players and can make our goal.”

The Crew are eager to see how the 27-year-old Higuain will help

their attack. The Argentine forward finally got to Columbus on

Wednesday after immigration issues delayed his arrival after he

signed with the club July 27.

“We are happy that we could bring in a player of the caliber

that Federico is,” coach Robert Warzycha told the Crew’s official

website. “He brings a lot of speed. He’s very technically sound. He

can set up other players and also score goals. He’s going to be a

perfect fit for us.”

Higuain will eventually partner with Costa Rican striker Jairo

Arrieta up front. Arrieta has three goals in five games since

joining the Crew, with all coming in his last three contests.

“I feel more comfortable,” Arrieta said. “Scoring goals gives

more confidence. As a forward, you want to be able to help the team

and score more goals.”

Arrieta had the lone Columbus goal Wednesday in a 1-1 home draw

with Los Angeles in the Crew’s first game since the death of

22-year-old midfielder Kirk Urso on Aug. 5.

“We talked about focusing on the game and that it will be

something we won’t forget,” Warzycha said. “Obviously, the three

points were not the most important thing today. I think there was a

bigger thing we were playing for.”