Attempting to bring El Capitan back home, Houston is welcoming rivals FC Dallas to town for their third match of the MLS season and fourth overall for the year. Holding a strong lead after an early season 5-0 drubbing at BBVA, Houston has a strong chance of winning the derby this year even if Dallas is able to steal a win. FCD, currently the top team in MLS, may have some thoughts on that outcome.
With the series at 1-0-1 in favor of Houston, FCD has big task in front of them to overcome the 5 goal differential. Although, they are one of the highest scoring clubs in MLS with 39 so far this season. They have a plethora of goal scoring talent with the likes of Tesho Akindele, Michael Barrios, and Maximiliano Urruti. Urruti has been a great story for Dallas this year while leading the club in goals scored. FCD grabbed him from Portland over the offseason and he has blossomed into an every week starter after being used only as a reliable bench option for his first years in MLS. Perhaps suffering a bit due to the coming of Urruti has been Mauro Diaz, who has seen his stats drop this year after his breakout campaign in 2015. The midfielder is still capable of dazzling with his playmaking abilities but is struggling to find the back of the net. The defense has played fairly stingy despite absences of key players for various portions of the season. If they intend to retain El Capitan Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, and co. will need to do everything they can to shut down the Dynamo attack.
After hitting a long awaited season milestone last weekend with an away win against San Jose, the Dynamo slipped back into an unfortunate but predictable pattern during their midweek game against Seattle. A 1 goal lead as the clock passed 90 and yet again they came away with a draw. Wade Barrett and the players had some tough words for themselves after the game, and you can catch those here in our recap. Tough to gauge how the team is going to react after that one. But, if you take away the disappointment vs. Seattle made worse by the temporary high of the win in San Jose, you can look back at these two matches and see 4 points on the table. Most teams would take that going into any two matches, and the Dynamo are not ones to scoff at points this season. The question looms is how does the team finish out its season? Certainly a win against their rivals would soften the blow of their current last place standings, but what more can the team achieve? Playing a full 90 front to back in each of the remaining games is a must, and that will start this week. Some sort of offensive identity needs to be established as well. Regardless, fans aren’t going to take a loss against Dallas this weekend lightly, so let’s hope the guys get up for this one after the quick turnaround.
Dallas is currently sitting atop the standings for a reason. They are a focused and disciplined team that can score in bunches and will make their opponents pay for mistakes. The mistakes are there for the Dynamo but they have had limited the goals magnificently this season. So what will that mean for the outcome of this game? Coming up just short isn’t going to cut it. This one is about pride. Let’s go claim that trophy.