Next up for the Houston Dynamo is an all familiar opponent - the San Jose Earthquakes. Some say the two clubs have a bit of a rivalry, mainly because they have that whole "didn't we used to be the same team" thing going on. However you see it, it's another tough test for Houston against one of the league's best.
For Houston, each game hosted at BBVA Compass Stadium (affectionately known as "The Fortress") becomes another opportunity to extend the streak. As I've said many times, Dynamo fans don't often go home unhappy. With last weekend's win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, Houston is now unbeaten in 33 matches in all competitions, including 27 in league play.
The Dynamo defense recently leaked six goals over two matches, but held Vancouver to only one. That one was a bit more of a wonderstrike than a defensive breakdown though. That's a positive note coming into the weekend's matchup against San Jose. The Earthquakes have the most dangerous weapon in MLS - Chris Wondolowski.
Wondo has led MLS scorers for three seasons in a row, highlighted by a ridiculous 27 goal season in 2012. For any defense, those numbers are frightening. For Houston's defense, knowing your enemy has been a key focus for years.
While Wondo seems to score at will against anyone at any time, in looking back over the history between San Jose and Houston I noticed something that stuck out.
In five career matches against the Houston Dynamo, Wondo has been unable to register a goal or an assist. The Dynamo defense has held someone who has scored 61 goals in three seasons to zero. In the 360 minutes he's had against Houston - only four of 12 total shots have been on frame.
Additionally, Wondolowski has scored at least one goal on every single other MLS team.
That's pretty impressive when you think about it.
With the Montreal Impact quickly picking up wins (4-0-0, 12 points) in the Eastern Conference, points at home are a must for Houston to keep pace. Yes it's early in the season, but we all remember 2012. One point could have been the difference between a loss at the Home Depot Center and possibly a different outcome at The Fortress.
San Jose (2-1-1) comes into the match with seven points in four matches. The Earthquakes have only scored four goals, but Wondo has half of those. I'm not too sure players worry about statistics quite as often as fans do, but if Wondo knows he hasn't scored on his old teammates - I'm sure he wants to change that.
Luckily for the Dynamo, their international trio of stars should be back and ready for the test on the Saturday. Although Eric Brunner, Warren Creavalle, and Andrew Driver filled in just fine for Jermaine Taylor, Boniek Garcia, and Brad Davis, Houston will be happy to have anchors of their defense and midfielder back on the pitch.
The San Jose Earthquakes are more than just Wondo, but his skill and knack for scoring often make him the center of attention. I wouldn't mind seeing our defense continue the impressive task of shutting him out and keeping that statistic alive.
Here's to zero.