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Union-Dynamo Preview

By KATE HEDLIN

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The Houston Dynamo have struggled to keep opponents from scoring recently, which could be a problem against a Philadelphia Union squad that has nine goals in the last two games.

The Dynamo look to remain unbeaten at home as they host the Union on Saturday night.

While Houston is winless in its last eight games on the road, the Dynamo (5-5-5) have played well at their new park, which opened last month, going 3-0-2.

They hope a return will help them bounce back from a 4-2 loss at Montreal last Saturday. Will Bruin scored his team-leading ninth goal in the 45th minute to tie the game at 2, but Houston surrendered two goals in the second half, including one on a penalty kick.

The Dynamo have given up 11 goals in their last four matches and outscored 23-20 overall.

"This is new territory for the guys that are back there right now," defender Bobby Boswell told the league's official website this week. "We've been pretty stingy and I think we've gotten a little loose lately. There's no excuse for it. To give up seven goals in two games is definitely not a good thing."

Houston may be able to regroup quicker with Honduran midfielder Boniek Garcia, who may make his debut in this match after signing this week as one of the three designated players allowed to each team. While coach Dominic Kinnear has yet to say if he will play, Garcia likely would be on the right wing for the Dynamo.

"He's calm on the ball. You can't teach that, that comes natural," teammate Geoff Cameron said. "To have a guy like that, with confidence on the ball, he's smooth... I think he'll do well here."

The Dynamo play five of their next six at home, but the Union (3-8-2) head into this match confident despite scoring only three goals on the road while going 1-4-1 in those matches..

The Union got off to a quick start in a 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City last Saturday. Jack McInerney ended his team's 214-minute goalless drought in the second minute with his first goal of the season and added a second late in the first half as Philadelphia snapped a six-game winless skid.

The victory was the first under interim coach John Hackworth, whose team lost 1-0 to D.C. United the week before in his MLS debut.

The Union, who have scored an Eastern Conference-worst 12 goals, were pleased to see that aggressiveness carry over to a 5-2 win over Harrisburg in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match Tuesday.

"I think we're starting to click and guys have so much confidence in each other," forward Antoine Hoppenot told the Union's official website. "When you win and score a lot of goals, it carries over. I think we're coming in these matches expecting to score.

"We don't want this to end," he added. "We want to keep it going into Houston on Saturday and then into L.A. (next Wednesday) and on from there."

The Union have won four of their last five matches overall, though three victories have come in the U.S. Open Cup.

Philadelphia is 2-2-2 against Houston, losing the last two, and was 2-1-0 at Houston's previous stadium.

Updated June 29, 2012

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