Fresh off a 3-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, the Houston Dynamo are back on the road full of confidence. The club is currently unbeaten in its previous six matches with three of those coming on the road. This will be a tougher test than their visits to Minnesota, D. C., and Sandy, Utah as the Dynamo will be traveling to Vancouver, BC in Canada where they have failed to register a win in all of their attempts.
Houston currently sits at the top of the Western Conference, a place many fans wondered if that was possible coming into the 2017 season while the Vancouver Whitecaps are in seventh on the Western Conference Table – just one point and one place from a playoff position. Both clubs were unfortunate to not make the playoffs last season, but with Houston soaring at the moment, expect Carl Robinson to have a well motivated side coming into this one.
This will be the second and final meeting between these two clubs in the regular season. The Dynamo were able to come away with a 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium – a place where Vancouver is winless. Stylistically, this was an interesting game as the Dynamo were very direct with their attacking and counter attacking as they capitalized on numbers up the field whereas Vancouver played a similar style, but without a quality playmaker which limited their chances to set pieces around the box. The game was physical as both sides tried to slow the other down to prevent breakaways.
Alberth Elis opened the scoring as Romell Quioto took a cross that was helped too him by a defender and he opened his body and sent in another cross to Elis who headed it into the net. Cubo Torres was second on the sheet with a perfect penalty shot. Mauro Manotas was brought down, rather easily, by Kendall Waston. Vancouver’s goal was actually pretty well defended as Brek Shea muscled his way through Andrew Wenger and Shea used his height advantage to get up and head one back for the Whitecaps. The Dynamo remained unbeaten at home after the final whistle, but now they travel to Vancouver where they have yet to win.
Impact Player Returning and One Leaving
Alex Lima will be rejoining the Dynamo after serving his one game suspension for seeing two very quick yellow cards against Real Salt Lake. Alex rejoining will provide more creativity than the Dynamo had with Oscar Boniek Garcia (Alex’s replacement last week) and Alex was also very good against Vancouver in the last match. However, Alex will need to be careful as he was sent off last year at BC Place following an incident with Pedro Morales who is no longer with the Whitecaps. Alex plays with a lot of passion and at times that can get the better of him. He’ll need to keep a cooler head to help the Dynamo get their first win in Vancouver.
A player not joining the team on the trip is Alberth Elis. Elis was shown a yellow card last week and will not be available due to yellow card accumulation. There are several aspects of Elis’s game that will be missed as he brings a ton of pace, width, he dribbles at defenders, draws fouls, and scores goals. Mauro Manotas, Elis’s likely replacement, has played on the wing plenty of times, but he likes to pinch inside which could make the field a little too narrow for us to be as effective as we typically are with Elis on the field.
With the Dynamo vying to maintain their status as top team in the West while keeping their unbeaten run alive, this match will definitely be one to see. New designated player Tomas Martinez will likely make an appearance in his first road game with the Dynamo. Last week he showed plenty of potential along with polish in his minutes off the bench and with another week of training under his belt his contributions will certainly increase.
The game will kick off at 9:00 PM CT at BC Place in Vancouver, BC Canada.