The Houston Dynamo are on the road to play the Columbus Crew on Saturday. The Dynamo have struggled to put together wins in MLS while they have won their way to the US Open Cup final to be played next month. The Crew are on a mini-win streak that they are hoping to extend against the Dynamo.
The Dynamo are coming off of an emotion mid-week US Open Cup win in the semifinals of the tournament. The game against LAFC was a long one as it went all the way to penalty kicks to determine the winner. The Dynamo controlled the scoreline for most of the game but a bogus foul in stoppage time allowed LAFC a free kick that caused the game tying goal. Neither team scored during the ensuing 15 minute periods which lead to the Dynamo winning 7-6 in PK’s.
This win came after an emotion loss to Sporting Kansas City which saw three Dynamo players and head coach Wilmer Cabrera ejected from the game. Alejandro Fuenmayor was issued a straight red card just fourteen minutes into the game after challenging Gianluca Busio for a header. After that card head referee Chris Penso never seemed to have control of the game. However, the Dynamo still looked dangerous going into halftime but as the second half got underway it was announced that Cabrera has been dismissed from the game by Penso for what was termed “inappropriate conduct in the tunnel”. In the 75th minute of the game Diego Rubio scored what would be the lone goal of the game for SKC. Things only got more out of hand in stoppage time as both Darwin Ceren and Alberth Elis were issued red cards and ejected from the game.
The red cards mean that the Dynamo will have to field a team without three of their starting players against the Crew. The Dynamo defense has struggled this season and losing Fuenmayor could cause trouble along the backline. While Elis has had a bit of a cold spell in front of the net lately his absence on the field could seriously impact the teams ability to score. He has scored nine goal and eight assists so far this season sitting behind Mauro Manotas for most goals scored on the team.
The Crew should be well rested for the game as they had a bye week last week. In their last game they defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-2. Jonathan Mensah opened the scoring in the seventh minute to give the Crew an early lead. Patrick Mullins scored in the 24th minute to make it 2-0, Crew. The Red Bulls’ Sean Davis knocked in an own goal in the 31st minute to give the Crew a 3-0 lead in the the first half. The Crew returned the own goal favor in the second half when Mensah put the ball in the back of his own net. The Red Bulls looked like they might mount a come back when Daniel Royer scored in the 69th minute. However, there were no more goals to be had in the game as the final whistle blew with a final score of 3-2 in the Crew’s favor.
Though they are coming off a bye week that doesn’t mean that the Crew wasn’t busy. They brought back familiar face, Justin Meram, after trading with Orlando City last week. They traded $750,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and an international roster slot for the 2019 MLS season for the midfielder.
As for the overall picture, the Crew are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points after 23 games played. The Dynamo on the other hand are in tenth place in the Western Conference with 27 points. After losing their last three games the Dynamo’s playoff chances have pretty much gone up in flames.
Things kickoff at 6:30 pm CT at Mapfre Stadium.