It may be too early in the season to start calling games must wins but the Houston Dynamo need to start taking three points from games if they want to be in the playoffs come November. Similar records both the San Jose Earthquakes and Houston will be keen to get three points on Saturday night. Both of the Western Conference teams started off their 2018 season with a win but neither has won since with Houston sitting on a 1-2-1 record while San Jose sits on a 1-3-1 record.
After a brilliant 4-0 victory over Atlanta United to open the season the Dynamo have struggled to win games. Originally the Dynamo had been scheduled to play the New York Red Bulls last weekend but the game was rescheduled due to the Red Bulls playing in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal. The rescheduling of that game means that the Dynamo have played just one game in the last 28 days. That one game was played on March 31 against the New England Revolution and it was a 2-0 home loss for the Dynamo. Giving the team plenty of time to mull over the disappointing loss that saw 16 shots from the Dynamo.
The Dynamo have been able to find time inside the box but so far the team has lacked accuracy. Alberth Elis has been a huge component in their ability to get around goal. He is the team leader in most of the stats this season. Elis has scored two goals and three assists in four games. In that same period he has had 21 shots with 11 shots on goal. Mauro Manotas has matched Elis in goals scoring two this season. However, Manotas’ game still lacks accuracy and finishing.
San Jose are coming off of a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union that saw Harold Cummings ejected from the game. The red card came at the very end of the game after Cummings swung out at Auston Trusty on a free kick. The review came after the final whistle so while the ejection didn’t affect the game against the Union it may have a huge effect on the game against the Dynamo. Cummings and centerback partner Yeferson Quintana had looked like they were starting to gel together on the field but the red card means there will be new chemistry in the back that the Dynamo can use to their advantage on Saturday night. Francois Affolter is the likely replacement in the back, but Fatai Alashe is also a possible replacement as he was the team’s Defensive Player of the Year spending the year at centerback. This game will be the first time that the Dynamo have faced the club since Mikael Stahre took over as head coach in the offseason.
On the offensive side San Jose designated player Vako and Danny Hoesen are tied for the team’s most goals scored with two goals each this season. However, it is Chris Wondolowski that the Dynamo defense will have to careful about keeping a close eye on. While the 2010 MLS Golden Boot winner hasn’t always had scoring success against his former club his skills have helped to pull defenders off his teammates leaving them open to score against the Dynamo.
With a 9:30 pm CT kickoff be sure to drink plenty of coffee so you make it to the end of this one on Saturday night.