After upsetting the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Houston Dynamo will look to extend their success in the playoffs over the last two seasons, as they play host to D.C. United today at BBVA Compass Stadium (4 PM EST, NBC Sports).
After making last year’s MLS Cup, the Dynamo have their sights set on making a return to the championship game, even after narrowly making the playoffs this season.
To do so, they will have to stop a D.C. United team that advanced after shocking the New York Red Bulls thanks to a late Nick DeLeon goal at Red Bull Arena on Thursday night. The victory did not come without a price, though, as goalkeeper Bill Hamid was given a red card after taking down Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper in the second half. With that red card, Hamid was shown the door, and was replaced by Joe Willis, who will play in Hamid’s spot again this afternoon.
This playoff and late-season run has all occurred without Dwayne De Rosario, who went down with a knee injury in September, yet Ben Olsen’s club has yet to lose a match since losing the reigning MLS MVP. While De Rosario has been practicing with the team, he will not be featured in today’s lineup, as he continues to rehab his injury.
On the other side, Dominic Kinnear has done his own masterful job of coaching, following a 2-1 aggregate win over Sporting Kansas City. Forward Will Bruin has certainly helped matters, having scored three goals in three playoff games. Houston will certainly be comfortable starting the series at home, much like the last series, as they have yet to lose at home this season in 21 matches at BBVA Compass Stadium.
SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s playoff games so please feel free to follow along with the action here. As always, feel free to send questions our way, and share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. You can also follow our comments on Twitter at @soccerbyives.
Enjoy the action (Match Commentary is after the jump):