Saturday night the Houston Dynamo host the LA Galaxy in a sold out game at BBVA Compass Stadium. Just two points separate the two teams who were once continual MLS Cup and Western Conference playoff opponents. While the Galaxy have the edge so far this season as they sit fifth place in the Western Conference standings the Dynamo are only two points behind them in eighth place.
With a 2-3-2 record after seven games the Dynamo season isn’t a total disaster. Unfortunately, there have been several games that have raised red flags for the season. The Dynamo defense has struggled to support the starting goalkeeper. While the Dynamo have had a few key injuries on defense (AJ, when you come back?) the off season moves don’t look like they have provided any improve to a defense that seems to always need improvement. The team has started both Chris Seitz and Joe Willis this season in goal with Willis taking over the starting role the last two games.
The Dynamo are coming off of a disappointing 2-1 road loss to Minnesota United. While Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto have finally caught fire, their talents in front of goal haven’t been enough to make up for the deficiencies in the back. After Elis scored in the fourth minute of the game, Alejandro Fuenmayor was called for a handball in the 40th minute of the game which allowed Minnesota to equalize. A 70th minute goal from Ibson sunk the Dynamo as they were unable to recover once going down a goal.
In case you live under a rock, LA signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the end of March. He made his debut against LAFC eight days after signing and scored one of the most amazing goals ever. In his five games with the club he has scored three goals making him the team leader in goals scored this season.
The Galaxy are also looking to recover from a loss after being defeated 3-2 by the New York Red Bulls last Saturday. They went down two goals early on but came back to score two of their own. It was a game where VAR was not LA’s friend as they had two important calls that were not turned over by VAR much to LA’s chagrin. Ibrahimovic was ruled offside after scoring in the 78th minute on a goal that would have helped them get the lead back. A few minutes later Dave Romney was called for a handball which led to a penalty kick and a game winning goal from the Red Bulls.
While this might not be the rivalry that Houston vs Dallas is, there is still a lot of bad blood history between these two teams. One of the moments that led to said bad blood was the power outage at the 2009 Western Conference final which was hosted by LA. The Dynamo had been the stronger team on the night until the 18th minute of the game when the power went out and the game was delayed for 18 minutes. Things got up and running then a second blackout happened five minutes into the second half. When the game got going again the momentum had shifted and LA was the team who came out on top.
Why does this matter? The Dynamo plan to blackout BBVA on Saturday only instead of turning out the lights they want fans to come dressed in black.
Who: Dynamo vs LA Galaxy
When: Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 pm CT
Weather: Daytime high 79 degrees, 40% chance of rain, 68% humidity