The next stop on the season opening road trip for the Dynamo is San Francisco, California. I know what you’re thinking, “San Francisco doesn’t have an MLS team.” You’re right but the San Jose Earthquakes are hosting a doubleheader at AT&T Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. The Dynamo and Earthquakes are the first match of the doubleheader followed by the U-23s from Mexico taking on the U-23s from Senegal.
As you know, the Dynamo used to be the Earthquakes so this has been a rivalry ever since the Earthquakes rejoined MLS. Brad Davis and Brian Ching both played for the Earthquakes in their “previous life” and San Jose’s leading scorer Chris Wondolowski spent 4 seasons with the Dynamo before being traded back to the Quakes in 2009.
Both San Jose and Houston opened their seasons last season with 1-0 wins. The Earthquakes beat the New England Revolution at home while the Dynamo were winners at Chivas USA. For the Dynamo defense to keep their great form (that started last season) they will need to find a way to keep Wondolowski in check. Wondo is a great goal scorer and he seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron will likely follow him all over the park.
It was a defender who scored last week for the Dynamo as right back Andre Hainault scored the game winner. The offense will have to get going if the Dynamo are to remain winning. Will Bruin started alongside Ching at forward last match and had some chances. Calen Carr entered as a sub and his introduction brought some life to the offense. We could see a change in the starting lineup with Carr starting at forward with Ching.
Defenders Ike Opara of San Jose and Kofi Sarkodie of the Dynamo will miss this match due to their international duty with the U-23 US National Team. Dynamo midfielder Luiz Camargo will also miss the match after Dominic Kinnear let him stay home with his wife who gave birth to a child this week. Sarkodie and Camargo both did not start the last game so I’d expect the same starting eleven with the possible exception of Carr over Bruin.
With this being the only meeting this season between the two rivals, both teams will badly want a win. Look for the offense to come to life early in this game with Ching and Davis working hard to find a first half goal against their former club. If the defense can keep Wondo in check, San Jose won’t score. 6 points from the first games of the season, on the road, would be huge but I expect it. The Dynamo will find their groove and get a definitive 3-0 win.
(image courtesy of Matt Pedersen/houstondynamo.com)