It may not feel like it due to all the CONCACAF Gold Cup action, but the Houston Dynamo last played nearly 2 weeks ago on July 5th in their 3-1 win at home over the visiting Montreal Impact. In the game the Dynamo were unfortunate to concede a goal late in the match as they were their usual dominate selves at BBVA Compass Stadium. They won’t be able to rely on whatever it is that makes them so good at home in their next two matches though as they’re slated to travel to Minneapolis to play MLS newcomer Minnesota United FC this Wednesday before making the trip to the East Coast to play D. C. United.
The good news for the Dynamo is that each club is at the bottom of their respective conference, but that shouldn’t automatically mean the Dynamo have this these games locked up as victories. Prior to their 3-1 win over the Impact they travelled to take on the Colorado Rapids who were then at the bottom of the Western Conference and all signs looked like that would be the game the Dynamo win out. The game would end up going 3-1 in Colorado’s favor as “road form Dynamo” is still very much a concern going into any match away from Houston.
The last time the Dynamo met with MNUFC was at BBVA Compass Stadium April 15th in a 2-2 draw that, for those that remember, felt like a huge loss. It was the first time the Dynamo had dropped points at home this season and despite an early goal from Mauro Manotas and a goal just before halftime by Alberth Elis, the Loons were able to claw their way back into the game. This was a home game that, for the majority of the second half, felt like the club was on the road. After the second half began the Dynamo decided to sit back on their lead rather than trying to extend it (the usual thing they do at home) which invited pressure from MNUFC who capitalized on a few good opportunities thanks to goals from Christian Ramirez and Johan Venegas. The Dynamo tried making a late push for a game winner when they brought on Vicente Sanchez and Romell Quioto, but at that point the Loons were content with the road draw and successfully parked the bus.
As is the case in nearly every road game for the Dynamo, they’ll need to bring the energy and risk taking that they do at home if they want to succeed. We’ve seen some progress in draws at FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy, but the game at the Rapids was a step back and highlights the consistency problems the club has away from home.
Minnesota United FC Form
Minnesota United are in a slump as they sit at the bottom of the Western Conference with the league’s worst defense in terms of goals allowed. They have struggled to get wins having won just once in their last six matches. That lone victory came June 21st, nearly a month ago, in a home match against the Portland Timbers. It’s tough to say how form will be affected by the Gold Cup break, players missing with their national teams, and how a strong desire to get back into playoff contention – they’re only 6 points off, will all factor into this one, but expect a motivated MNUFC side.
Both the Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United FC will be missing some key contributors in this match as several players on national teams have seen their teams advance within the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition. For MNUFC they’ll be out Johan Venegas (Costa Rica) who scored the equalizer in the last meeting between these two sides, Francisco Calvo (Costa Rica), and Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica). Venegas brings plenty out wide or higher up the field, but with Christian Ramirez they should be set on offense. Defensively Calvo will be a bigger blow than Taylor so it will be up to guys filling in to stop Mauro Manotas and co.
The Dynamo will be missing three out of their four primary forwards as Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto are with the Honduran National Team while Cubo Torres remains with the Mexican National Team. Midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia (Honduras) is also unavailable which could open the doors for some newer players. The Dynamo did recently sign their third designated player as they may have found a central playmaker in Tomás Martínez. However, Chronicle reporter Corey Roepken reported that he isn’t travelling with the team this week.
The game will kick off Wednesday July 19th at TCF Bank in Minneapolis, MN at 7:00 PM CT.