It’s an exciting time for the Dynamo and fans alike after a season opening win over the defending MLS champs the Seattle Sounders. It’s not often you get a chance like that, to face the incumbents in the home opener and come away with the points. The team is looking and sounding energized which is something that hasn’t been apparent in quite some time. Next up is the Columbus Crew who will also be travelling to Houston coming off of a 1-1 draw with Chicago.
With so much change in the offseason it was a relief to finally see some MLS match play with the new squad. The attack looked sharp against the Sounders, and counter attacks will be a regular occurrence with the speed on the wings. Quioto, Elis and Torres were all pretty dangerous in the attacking third and appear at this early point to already have a good working chemistry. It was also great to see Tyler Deric back in the Dynamo net knocking down Sounder attempts with fire and displaying a passion that only he is capable of bringing to the field. Questions loom in the midfield and defense. With three new starters, the backline will need to pick up shape against the opposing attack. There’s still plenty of uncertainty regarding how the midfield trio will handle the possession and distribution responsibilities in the 4-3-3. Eric Alexander did a solid job on limiting turnovers and pushing the ball out of edgy situations, but Cabrera will likely put Juan David Cabezas back out in the center as he did during the preseason.
The Crew stumbled quite a bit last year after making an appearance in the 2015 title game, so how or if they fulfill their own potential will be a great storyline for this season. They start this season off with back to back games against the league’s two worst teams from 2016 in Chicago and Houston. Crew teams from the past would have loved two layups to kick the season off, essentially an extension of the preseason. But this squad can’t rest. It’s hard to tell much from their season opener though as they also showed many new faces in the starting XI. Justin Meram and Ethan Finley combined for the lone goal, something they will likely do often this season. Federico Higuaín will lead the attack from the #10 spot. Gotta love Higuaín, he has just been solid for the Crew for years. Ola Kamara showed quite a bit last year taking over full time striker duties after Kei Kamara left for the Revs. With 16 goals to lead all Crew scorers last season, and that was on only 80 total shots, Kamara will test the Dynamo backline often.
One of the best things about watching games this season will be the familiar players coming off of the bench. Andrew Wenger, Boniek Garcia and Jalil Anibaba will bring solid and reliable presence in late minute action, and Mauro Manotas is sure to get cheers whenever he makes it onto the field. And that’s on top of the performance Alexander had last weekend. Lot of great reasons to head out to BBVA this Saturday.
Date: March 11, 2017, 7:30 pm CST
Location: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Last Meeting: April 23, 2016 (1-0 Columbus, MLS)