The Dynamo are on the road this weekend hoping to turn things back around against New York City FC or Connecticut FC if you will. Due to a scheduling conflict at NYCFC’s usual stadium the game had to be moved all the way to Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut.
The Dynamo have struggled since their home win against the San Jose Earthquakes on August 12. They have just one draw in their last four games which have seen them go from first in the Western Conference to sitting in seventh place, on the outside looking in at the playoffs for the first time this season. That said, they are tied with Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas with 38 points, however, RSL takes the sixth place and last playoff spot on tie breakers.
Houston also suffered their first home loss of the season two weeks ago at the hands of league worst Colorado Rapids and followed it up with a road loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
So what’s going wrong with the Dynamo? Well, for starters they have been shut out in their last two games, not scoring since their 3-3 draw against FC Dallas on the road. They have gone from a low possession, high scoring team to a high possession, low (or no) scoring team. The chemistry that had existed for most of the season between Cubo Torres, Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis seems to cooled considerably. In fact the chemistry of the team as a whole seems to have cooled as the season has started to wind down.
Alex Lima was out for the game against the Earthquakes due to yellow card accumulation. In his absence we saw Tomas Martinez, the team’s newest designated player, get his first start in Orange. One of the questions this week will be if head coach Wilmer Cabrera decides to play both players on the field at the same time or if Martinez will be relegated back to the bench.
New York City FC is currently sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, but they haven’t yet clinched a playoff spot in the East. They have had mixed results in their last three games. They started September off with a win over Sporting Kansas City and followed it up with a loss against Portland before tying the Colorado Rapids last weekend. The loss to Portland was the first time that the team was shut out at home this season.
In their draw against the Rapids, NYCFC started strong with Tommy McNamara scoring in the 19th minute. However, they weren’t able to seal the deal on any of the other chances they had during the game. In the 88th minute, Dominique Badji was able to even the score and prevent NYCFC from getting three points.
Saturday’s game will be the only match up between the two this season. Houston has yet to beat NYCFC as they are currently 0-1-1 against them.
Houston Dynamo vs NYCFC
Pratt & Whitney Stadium
Saturday, September 23 at 2 pm CT