A tough task awaits the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night at a time when the team could use a break. The LA Galaxy (and all their stars) come into BBVA Compass Stadium looking for another three points to overtake FC Dallas for first place in the West. Houston is tied for last in the conference but just a win away from 7th place in a truly stacked Western table.
The Dynamo made a shrewd move on Thursday to pickup Philadelphia Union's defender Sheanon Williams ahead of Saturday's match. Without Williams, Houston has only four defenders available with DaMarcus Beasley (Gold Cup), Kofi Sarkodie (red card), and Jermaine Taylor (injury) all out for the weekend. Williams provides a great veteran presence but may still be too fresh to get minutes against the Galaxy.
Which is a shame because the Galaxy are freshly reinvigorated with attacking talent and not likely to let up in the Houston humidity (temps are expected to be 90F for kickoff). Of course there's new signing Steven Gerrard, who was incredibly active in his first match against San Jose and was rewarded with a goal. Robbie Keane is always masterful when attacking the box and remains difficult to contain for the Houston defense. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget is also a new arrival and very much in form right now with five goals in the last six matches. And this is all without Giovanni Dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes - both of which remain on Gold Cup duty. Going into this match, Galaxy have outscored their opponents 20-6 in the last five matches.
Suffice to say, Saturday night will be a challenge. The one bright spot for Houston is on the other end of the field. Erick Torres, known as "Cubo", played brief minutes against Kansas City in Open Cup action this week and is activated for Saturday. That could mean Torres might get a start and the Galaxy defense (without Omar Gonzalez) will need to discover ways to stop the hungry striker.
The Houston Dynamo play host to LA Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, July 25th at 8:00PM CDT. The match will be broadcast on ROOT Sports and can be heard at 1560AM and 850AM on the radio. Tickets are still available but the match is expected to reach capacity. You can purchase from available seats at HoustonDynamo.com.