Tonight the Houston Dynamo open the 2011 season against the Philadelphia Union with a new kit, new sponsor, and newer, younger team. Will all the changes add up to another successful season for the men in orange? Eddie Robinson of the Houston Dynamo celebrates with this teammates after scoring in the second half against the Philadelphia Union at Robertson Stadium on May 29, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Game Stream: Houston Dynamo Lose 1-0 To Phildelphia Union In Season Opener

Tonight the Houston Dynamo open the 2011 season against the Philadelphia Union with a new kit, new sponsor, and newer, younger team. Will all the changes add up to another successful season for the men in orange?

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19 Total Updates since March 19, 2011
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Full Time: Dynamo Lose 1-0 To Philadelphia Union In Season Opener

Lack of communication and cohesion seemed to be the theme for the Houston Dynamo who lost their 2011 MLS opener after falling to the Philadelphia Union.

The difference in the game was a momentary lapse of concentration by Bobby Boswell on a long throw-in in Houston’s attacking third in the fifth minute that led to a Sebastien Le Toux to shot off of off the wood work and into Danny Califf’s path for a goal.

Houston had trouble creating chances, but Will Bruin managed a shot on goal and Dominic Oduro whiffed a sitter in the second half.

The entire game was chippy and, at times, had the look of a game that could have ended with 10 men on each team. In the end, neither team saw red, except for the exasperated face of Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear.

Despite a fantastic offseason run, the Dynamo looked much like their 2010 selves and have started the season in the same place they left last season.

Check back here later tonight for more thoughts on the game and post-game quotes and reactions from the players and coaches.

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Sub: El Pescadito Exits For Amobi Okugo

In the 85th minute, Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz left the game and made way for Amobi Okugo. This marks the last sub for both teams.

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Sub: Dynamo Bring On Cruz, Switch To A 3-5-2

Danny Cruz came on for Hunter Freeman in the 71st minute, switching the Dynamo from a 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2. Glad to see Dominic Kinnear fighting for points and taking chances.

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Sub: Nakazawa Leaves For Gabriel Farfan

In the 70th minute, Union midfielder Kyle Nakazawa made room for Gabriel Farfan as the visitors try to leave with all three points. Just moments before, the Dynamo nearly equalized when Dominic Oduro shanked a Geoff Cameron cross.

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65th Minute: Dynamo Getting Closer, Still Not Breaking Through

With just over 25 minutes left in the match, the Houston Dynamo are continuing to press on the attack but have still not been able to break through and score a goal. Will Bruin’s effort earlier in the half was the best chance for the men in orange.

The addition of Weaver and Oduro could be the difference for Houston, who desperately needed some speed in their attack.

The Dynamo nearly broke through in the 67th minute when Geoff Cameron headed a Brad Davis free kick just wide of goal.

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Sub: Debutante Will Bruin Exits Game For Dominic Oduro

The Dynamo brought on some pace when Dominic Oduro came on in 61st minute for debutante Will Bruin. Bruin looked the better forward throughout the first half and had a few decent efforts. Hope there’s much more to come from this player later in the season.

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Sub: Danny Mwanga Enters Game For Justin Mapp

Philly Union young gun Danny Mwanga just entered the game for midfielder Justin Mapp in the 59th minute of the game. The Union look to be going more offensive with just over 30 minutes remaining.

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Sub: Jason Garey Makes Way For Cam Weaver In The 57th

Jason Garey exited the game in the 57th minute of the game and made way for Cam Weaver. it was the first substitute of the game for either team.

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Dynamo v. Union: Half Time Stats

Dynamo Stats
Total Shots: 6
Shots on Goal: 1
Fouls: 4
Offside: 1
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 1

Union Stats
Shots: 3
Shots on Goal: 2
Fouls: 7
Offside: 1
Corner Kicks: 0
Saves:1

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Half Time: Califf Goal The Difference For Union Against Dynamo

At half time, Danny Califf’s unassisted goal was the difference between the Dynamo and Union. After the goal, the Dynamo seemed to settle down a bit, but this game has been super chippy. At this rate, neither team will finish with all eleven men on the field.

We will be back in a few minutes with stats and thoughts from the first half.

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Yellow Card: Carlos Valdes Sees Yellow For Push

Carlos Valdes of the Philadelphia Union received a yellow card for a push on a Dynamo attacker. That should bring the card count to two yellows a piece.

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Yellow Card: Davis Returns The Favor Minutes Later

Brad Davis picked up the second yellow card of the game and the first for the Dynamo just minutes after Carlos Ruiz received a yellow for his challenge on Hainault. Let’s hope this game doesn’t get out of control.

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Yellow Card: Ruiz Sees Yellow After Elbow To Hainault's Face

Carlos Ruiz just received the first yellow card of the game and his 2011 season after elbowing Andrew Hainault in the face in a jumping challenge. The elbow looked intentional and could’ve been retaliatory for Hainault’s earlier challenge. El Pescadito is lucky to not see red there.

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Goal: Danny Califf Scores In The Fifth Minute

Danny Califf scored an unassisted foal in the 5th minute after the Dynamo defense fell apart and lost track of the ball and the man in the box. Immediately following the goal, Jason Garey got in an altercation with a Union defender, though neither player looked to receive a card.

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Game Stream: And We're Off!

Dynamo and Union just kicked off! The season has officially started.

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Game Stream: Houston Dynamo And Philadelphia Union Set To Kick Off In 30 Minutes

It’s a beautiful evening in Houston and the Dynamo are just a half hour away from opening up the 2011 MLS season. What’s in store from this year’s Dynamo? Well, after the departure of a group of veterans in the offseason, Coach Kinnear and Chris Canetti brought in a host of young players from college and around the globe. What does that mean for the Dynamo? This year’s team looks younger, quicker, more athletic and they are hungry to erase the memories from last season and bring back the glory to Houston.

Check back here for in-game updates and analysis and feel free to check out Dynamo Theory for Zach’s live stream.

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Line-Ups: El Pescadito Starts Up Top For Philly

Here’s the starting line-up for the Philadelphia Union:

F Sebastien Le Toux
F: Carlos Ruiz
M: Justin Mapp
M: Stefani Miglioranzi
M: Brian Carroll
M: Kyle Nakazawa
D: Jordan Harvey
D: Carlos Valdes
D: Danny Califf ©
D: Sheanon Williams
GK: Faryd Mondragon

Subs: Zac MacMath (GK), Danny Mwanga, Chris Agorsor, Gabriel Farfan, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, Roger Torres

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Line-Ups: Bruin Gets His First MLS Start For Dynamo

Here’s the starting line-up for the Houston Dynamo:

F: Will Bruin
F: Jason Garey
RM: Corey Ashe
CAM: Geoff Cameron
CDM: Lovel Palmer
LM: Brad Davis
RB: Andrew Hainault
CB: Jermaine Taylor
CB: Bobby Boswell
LB: Hunter Freeman
GK: Tally Hall

Subs: Tyler Deric (GK), Mike Chabala, Danny Cruz, Eddie Robinson, Kofi Sarkodie, Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro

It’s an interesting starting line-up for Houston; Will Bruin gets his first start for the Dynamo in his first game in Major League Soccer and Hunter Freeman and Andrew Hainault start as the outside defenders ahead of Mike Chabala. Kofi Sarkodie could get his first MLS minutes today if he’s brought off of the sub’s bench, and Dominic Oduro could make his return to the field for the Dynamo following his contract issues from the offseason.

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Preview: New Look Houston Dynamo Open 2011 Against Philadelphia Union

Following a dismal 2010 season, the Houston Dynamo are looking at turning over a new leaf and showcasing a new, younger, more athletic team.

Loads of players came and went during the offseason, and at times, it seemed there were more questions than answers about what this team would look like in 2011. The departure of Pat Onstad, Ryan Cochrane, Joseph Ngwenya, Richard Mulrooney, Adrian Serioux, and Anthony Obodai left a number of positions vacant, and for the first time in a long time, there was a chance for serious competition for minutes in training camp.

Jason Garey, Jordan Graye, Hunter Freeman, Kofi Sarkodie, Will Bruin, Evan Newton, Josue Soto, Alex Dixon, and Jermaine Taylor represent the new group of young guns and new faces eager to fill the void and challenge for starting spots.

There are still some questions about who Dominic Kinnear will start today, but that seems to be part of the fun for Dynamo fans. For once, there are options at all of the positions and enough depth that there are two or three potential starting line-ups for the team.

The Dynamo, historically, have done well in their opening game, going unbeaten in the last five, and know that a win today would mean a lot of the fans and the team's psychology moving forward.

 

Random Notes

  • Houston is unbeaten in home openers (2-0-3), defeating Real Salt Lake last season 2-1.
  • MLS SuperDraft picks Kofi Sarkodie and Will Bruin both ended the preseason competing for starting spots. No Houston rookie has ever started an Opening Day match, and only Geoff Cameron (3/29/08) has played at all as a rookie in an opener. Eighth-year head coach Dominic Kinnear has only started one rookie on Opening Day in his coaching career: Danny O'Rourke in 2005 with San Jose.
  • At 19 years, 362 days, defender Kofi Sarkodie could become the youngest player in Houston history to start an MLS match if he gets the nod on Saturday. The current Dynamo record is held by midfielder Danny Cruz, who scored in his first MLS start on May 22, 2010 at the age of 20 years, 139 days.
  • Midfielder Brad Davis led the Dynamo offense in the preseason with four goals and six assists in only535 minutes. Davis notched five goals and 12 assists in league play in each of the last two years to earn team MVP honors. His preseason goals included one penalty kick and three direct free kicks; his six assists included four from corner kicks.
  • Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall is expected to start in net, taking over for the departed Pat Onstad. Although Hall has played only five MLS games, he has made 18 starts for the Dynamo in all competitions over the past two years, twice tying the club record with 10 saves in a single match.
  • Almost five years after the club's first ever match on April 2, 2006, only four players have remained on the Dynamo roster: Mike Chabala, Brian Ching, Brad Davis, and Eddie Robinson. In addition, former captain Wade Barrett is in his second year as a Dynamo assistant coach.


Injury Report
HOUSTON DYNAMO -- OUT: MF Colin Clark (L knee); MF Francisco Navas Cobo (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Brian Ching (R hamstring strain)

PHILADELPHIA UNION -- QUESTIONABLE: DF Juan Diego Gonzalez (L hip flexor strain)


Projected Dynamo Starting XI
FW: Will Bruin
FW: Jason Garey
LM: Brad Davis (C)
CAM: Geoff Cameron
CDM: Lovel Palmer
RM: Danny Cruz
LB: Mike Chabala
CB: Jermaine Taylor
CB: Bobby Boswell
RB: Hunter Freeman
GK: Tally Hall

SUBS: Tyler Deric (GK), Kofi Sarkodie, Andrew Hainault, Eddie Robinson, Corey Ashe, Cam Weaver, Dominic Oduro


Check back here closer to kickoff for the full game day roster for both the Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union. Also, don't forget to follow here for live, in-game updates and feel free to check out Dynamo Theory for Zach's game stream.

VIVA NARANJA!

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