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Houston Dynamo at Los Angeles Galaxy: Weary Dynamo Face Rested Galaxy

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The Dynamo need to continue their positive trend on the road. What are their chances this weekend?

MLS: LA Galaxy at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It was a great week of international play for the CONCACAF squads remaining in the Hex portion of the WCQ. The Dynamo saw three players represent for Honduras and one each for both Panama and the USA, while Gio Dos Santos of the Galaxy was called up for Mexico. With the return to club play the Dynamo will round out a three game road trip in LA.

Both squads advanced in the US Open Cup in mid week matches that saw vastly alternate rosters due both to the competition and availability of the international players. The Galaxy only saw two players get called up for the WCQ matches (Dos Santos and GK Clement Diop), and the USOC match was at home for them. Wenger and Remick ended up playing the full match for Houston against North Carolina FC, and Vincente Sanchez nearly did as well. Beasley contributed a full 90 on Sunday in Mexico, and Elis and Quioto both played multiple WCQ games including the final Panama v. Honduras matchup on Tuesday. What impact all of this will have on the starting rosters for the weekend will be interesting.

The Galaxy though, LA has been on one hell of a tear. Four road games, nine goals, no losses, and only one draw. They nearly doubled their goal output for the season and more than doubled their point total to 19, putting them just outside the playoff club at 8th in the West. Dos Santos had some particularly good play during the stretch, notching five out of those nine goals. Is all this for real? I have a suspicion that they are being a bit over valued due to their name. It is indeed challenging for any team to earn a four game unbeaten streak, nonetheless on the road. But it wasn’t against particularly good competition (NYRB, Minn., San Jose, DC). Prior to this streak they were really struggling, and that was with Jermaine Jones available. Gyasi Zardez still has yet to score this season, and outside of Dos Santos and Alessandrini no Galaxy player has more than one goal. They also absolutely can not defend their home turf, grabbing only one win in LA this entire 2017 season. So it’s a story of two teams. Prior to this turnaround the Dynamo should have had a very easy chance to get some points in this game. Now it’s anyone’s guess.

With what is likely a very tired squad heading to face a better rested and renewed LAG, what are the Dynamo’s actual chances in this game? The upside is that Alex, Cubo and Manotas have all had two weeks to prepare. But essentially all of the other offensive players played mid-week games. Being so key to the attack it’s hard to see the club getting more than a couple of goals without both Quito and Elis and more likely fewer than that. Their importance to the club cannot be overstated.

Despite that Cabrera may elect to save the legs of either or both. It is a long season after all. Mauro Manotas could get the start and also be prepared to at least see a little more of Andrew Wenger. The formation, personnel and strategy of the midfield and attack fluctuates a lot on the road though, so who knows. Tactics aside, the defense has actually allowed only two goals in their last three MLS outings after getting blasted by Atlanta back in May. Hopefully this is an indication of renewed focus and attention in training to the D, though Tyler Deric should get a lot of the credit. We could see Remick getting his second start this week to allow more rest for Beasley, but the rest of the backline should be intact.

No matter what it looks like right now, it’s a long shot for the Dynamo to do what Portland managed on the road last year; fail to notch a single win. It’s going to come at some point. Even though I’m not sold on LAG just yet it’s hard to say it’ll come this week. Finally earning the first road point in Frisco was fantastic. Getting another this weekend would be big, and probably a little confidence booster before the Dynamo head to Colorado in a few weeks for a very winnable game against the Rapids.

With playing on the West cost this is going to be a late one, the game kicks off at 10 pm CT.

EDIT: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Adolpho Machado participated in the Panama v. Honduras WCQ match on Tuesday, June 13. That statement has been removed and other article content has been updated.