Live Gamethread: Arabe Unido vs Houston Dynamo

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night, the Houston Dynamo will switch gears from their pursuit of a playoff spot in order to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League. To do so, they'll have to get at least a draw against Arabe Unido down in Panama - all without some of their best players. Can it be done?

THE BASICS
Houston Dynamo at Árabe Unido (DT Preview)
Thursday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. CT
Estadio Agustín "Muquita" Sánchez, La Chorrera, Panama

BROADCAST INFORMATION
FOX Soccer Plus - 7:00 p.m.
Univision Deportes - 7:00 p.m.

Árabe Unido team news

In Panamanian league play, Árabe Unido are coming off of a 4-0 win over last-place Río Abajo last Friday, but that is their only win in the last eight league games (0-5-3), dating back to Aug. 24. Despite sitting seventh out of 10 teams in the Liga Panameña de Fútbol's Apertura season, Árabe Unido did earn a 2-0 road win over Trinidad's W Connection on Sept. 19.

Forwards Abdiel Arroyo, just 19 years old, and Humberto Ward have each scored twice for Árabe Unido in Championsn League play, while Joseph Cox and Jose Gonzalez lead the way in league play with three goals apiece. Gonzalez, goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd, and defenders Fidel Caesar, Harold Cummings and Rigoberto Niño have played all 270 minutes of their Champions League campaign.

Cummings, just 21, and midfielder David Daniels are both veterans of the epic 2009 encounter, as is experienced forward Orlando Rodriguez, who scored against Houston in each game in 2009 but has played just 77 minutes in this year's Champions League.

Based in Colón on the northern (Atlantic) coast of Panama, Árabe Unido's home stadium does not meet CONCACAF's standards for the tournament. Although they hosted W Connection at Panama City's Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Thursday's match will be held in the more remote town of La Chorrera, about an hour southwest of Panama City, at the home of San Francisco F.C. It is the same venue that hosted the first Houston-Árabe Unido match in August 2009, a match that included one power outage during the match and another soon after the final whistle.

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It's pretty simple: a draw or a win gets us through to the knockout stages of the CCL. Come join the Dynamo Theory crew as we talk Champions League and cheer on the Dynamo.

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