Houston looks for first home win over Revs
The New England Revolution hope to rediscover their scoring touch after being shut out for the first time last weekend. They haven't had much trouble scoring during their visits to Houston.
New England has never lost on the road against the Houston Dynamo, and it looks to continue that streak Sunday night.
The Revolution are coming off their first loss, 2-0 at home against Real Salt Lake last Saturday.
"We didn't have any spring in our legs, but at the same time that doesn't hide the fact we really should have played better, but we didn't," coach Steve Nicol told MLS' official website. "To give the ball to the opposition as often as we did, you're not winning games."
The Revolution are 4-0-1 in five meetings in Houston, outscoring the Dynamo 7-2. New England is 6-1-3 all-time in the series.
However, New England (1-1-3) will make the trip without leading scorer Shalrie Joseph and midfielder Pat Phelan. Each received a red card against Salt Lake and are suspended, but newly acquired Danish forward Rajko Lekic may be available if his international transfer certificate is received in time.
Joseph scored in the most recent meeting, a 2-1 New England victory Oct. 10.
The Revolution may need all the offensive help possible if the Dynamo match their most recent performance.
Houston (1-1-2) had its best scoring output of the season in a 3-1 win against Vancouver last Sunday. Brad Davis tied a club record with three assists, and Bobby Boswell scored the go-ahead goal in the 42nd minute.
Davis tied the team record set twice before but not since Corey Ashe accomplished the feat in 2007. Houston had not scored more than one goal in a game this season and hadn't scored three since beating D.C. 3-1 on Sept. 25 - a stretch of eight games.
"We haven't really been able to put too many goals in the back of the net this year," Davis said. "To be able to finally break the seal for the year felt good. I think it was a fantastic team performance."
Forward Brian Ching is likely to miss his second straight game with rib separation, meaning rookie Will Bruin is in line to start again in his place. Bruin scored his first professional goal against the Whitecaps.
"Will's learning on the job facing pro defenders, and it's different from college," coach Dominic Kinnear said. "I don't think anybody was disappointed to see Will score that goal, because of how he's worked hard and how honest and selfless he is. I hope it's the first of many."
Houston signed forward Sergio Koke and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson on Friday, just beating a transfer deadline for international players.
Koke is expected to join the team next week once his international transfer certificate is received. Watson began training with the Dynamo this week, though it's unclear if he'll be in the lineup against New England.