The Dynamo host the Chicago Fire Saturday night at Robertson Stadium in another attempt to get their first league victory since May. It's be a rough summer for the Dynamo and despite the bad run of form and injuries, the playoffs still can't be written off. That said, there is a six point gap and a log jam of teams fighting for the final spot so Houston will need to start finding the back of the net is they want to be considered a legitimate dog in the fight.
Before we get the the five notes, I should mention the biggest piece of news concerning the game this weekend. Pat Onstad will return from injury and according to Kinnear, he will regain his starting role. This isn't entirely surprising but I expect fan reaction will be mixed between those that feel Onstad shouldn't lose his job due to injury and those that feel the season is at the point where Tally Hall needs to be in net to gain experience. Whatever your feeling, both players are more than capable of handling the job and giving the Dynamo a chance to win.
So with all that in mind, let us examine five things you need to know about Saturday's clash with the visiting Fire.
1. Injuries will continue to dictate Dominic Kinnear's lineup. Adrian Serioux (hamstring) and Brad Davis (quad) are likely to be unavailable again this week and joining on the injury list is Corey Ashe who is dealing with a hamstring issue.
2. Just how much have injuries effected this team? In league play alone, 24 players have seen action, 15 of which have played at least 350 minutes. In addition, 14 different players have scored a goal for Houston.
3. Assuming Bobby Boswell plays, which there is no reason to believe he wont, it would be his 20th appearance of the season in a MLS match. This would be Boswell's 6th straight season with at least 20 league appearances. Brian Mullan is expected to make his 225th career MLS start as well.
4. Geoff Cameron looks to be staying in the central defense role for the time being. Cameron played his first full match against New England since returning from a knee injury and looked right at home in his old position. With Mike Chabala returning from a card suspension, the defense should be at full strength...which leaves the offense. The Dynamo have not scored a goal in the month of August (3 matches). The last time the team found the net was against the New York Red Bulls on July 31st. If Houston has any hopes of making the playoffs, they will need to start finding goals.
5. Houston leads the all-time series with Chicago 5-3-1. All four games played between the two teams at Robertson Stadium have been decided by one goal, including last season's dramatic 3-2 victory for the Dynamo. In the meeting between the two teams earlier this season at Toyota Park, the Fire handily defeated Houston 2-0 on a very windy evening in The Windy City.