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
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.”