The Houston Dynamo are coming off an unsatisfying defeat on the road to the Colorado Rapids and hope to come home and make amends when they face the Montreal Impact at BBVA Compass Stadium. Against Colorado the game began in traditional “road-Dynamo-form” as the team sat back which created gaps in the midfield for Colorado to control the game. The Dynamo showed little desire to risk sending the ball up the field quickly, something they readily do at home. However, after 40 minutes in something clicked and the team looked much improved. Despite going into the second half level, miscues on defense allowed Colorado to add to their goal tally twice more. The Dynamo were able to generate chances of their own, but never got a goal back to close the gap in the score. The Colorado game will be fresh on the players’ minds and hopefully the club will come out ready to erase it from recent memory.
Players Out with National Teams & Injuries
Both teams had games this past Saturday which will make managers Wilmer Cabrera and Mauro Biello think about fatigue, but the managers will also have to think about how international call-ups for the Gold Cup and injuries will affect their lineup selections.
For the Dynamo, they’re short Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis with the Honduran National Team. Oscar Boniek Garcia could be with them as well, although he was able to participate in the Colorado game and official word on his availability is not yet known (as of me writing this anyways). Additionally, designated player and the league’s 2nd highest goal scorer Erick “Cubo” Torres may also be unavailable as he was a late addition to the Mexican National side. He trained with the Dynamo Monday per the Houston Chronicle, but his status is also unknown at the moment. Losing Cubo is definitely the bigger blow than Boniek which would mean three out of our four primary forwards would be unavailable. That could be a big blow for a team that relies heavily on its offense. However, Mauro Manotas is much better in the center forward spot than he is on the wing and would be the player the Dynamo offense would lean on in this match should Cubo be gone. Manotas has done well this season with 5 goals to his name thus far, just 1 shy of his total from last season.
For Montreal the call-ups don’t affect them quite as much as the Dynamo as they’re only regular starter missing is Patrice Bernier along with back-up goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and bench midfielder/forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel. However, they’ve been hit hard by the injury bug with playmaker Ignacio Piatti out along with defender Ambroise Oyongo.
Struggling Montreal Impact on the Road
Montreal have not been able to get it done on the road this season which is true for many MLS clubs this year. They’ve amassed a 1-3-5 record with their lone victory coming back in early May against a struggling D.C. United side. Their previous two matches on the road were both losses, but it’s important to note that although their win tallies have been low away from Stade Saputo, they’ve managed to hang on and collect 5 draws (compared to the Dynamo’s 2 on the road). They’ll be depleted of their star playmaker so maybe the Dynamo can keep their composure on defense and support the offense.
Dynamo at Home
Although the Dynamo will be short of much of its offensive minded players, there is no place like home. The Dynamo are in elite company with Toronto FC, the Chicago Fire, and Sporting Kansas City to have not lost a match in MLS this season. The notable differences between our home form and away form are in part because of how amazing this club has been at home (the other part being about how amazingly poor we’ve been on the road). Whoever gets the start up top, it’s up to our defenders and midfielders to make the long passes up the field and across it, to support build up play when the counters don’t work immediately, and to be ready to take shots in case it isn’t going for our forwards. Essentially, the team cannot fall back on itself because it’s shorthanded, especially not at home.
Kick off will be at 7:30 PM CT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX this Wednesday July, 5th.