Houston begins playoff push against New England

BBVA Compass Stadium has been a fortress for the Houston Dynamo this season, and the club will hope to rely on that home- field advantage to secure a place in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Houston leads the Columbus Crew by one point in the race for the fifth and final playoff spot. And with four games to play, the Dynamo is set to begin a three-game homestand beginning with Saturday's match against the New England Revolution.

The bad news for Houston is that since a win over Red Bull New York on Aug. 3, which moved the club into a tie at the top of the East, head coach Dominic Kinnear has seen his team claim just one win in its last seven games.

That slide has put Houston's playoff hopes in a precarious position, but the upcoming string of home games is something that midfielder Brad Davis hopes can turn things around.

Houston is the only team in MLS that has yet to lose on home soil, posting a 9-0-5 record. And with games against New England, Montreal and Philadelphia, who have a combined road record of 5-30-7, Davis feels his team must win all three matches.

"I think the mentality has to be that they all have to be wins," Davis said. "With where we're at [in the standings] and what's going on, our destiny's in our own hands and if we get nine points at home we're in pretty good position for the playoffs and maybe jump up a little bit."

Saturday's opponents, New England, own only one win from the last 13 games, but Kinnear has cautioned his side about overlooking the Revs.

"You can't look at teams as weaker teams," Kinnear said. "You have to look at everybody as 11 professionals and you have to prepare for every team the same way. You can't say that 'this team is low in the standings it's going to be an easier day.' You have to prepare that when that team steps on the field, they're going to play their best."

New England may be out of playoff contention, but the club still owns a win over Columbus and a draw with New York this month, illustrating is ability to play the role of spoiler.