The Houston Dynamo continue their 2019 MLS season campaign with the Vancouver Whitecaps coming to town. Houston drew Real Salt Lake in the opener and was able to get three points against the Montreal Impact last week. Vancouver meanwhile is still searching for its first win of the season having dropped games to Minnesota United FC and RSL.
Earlier this week the Dynamo played the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals as they hoped to make up ground against Tigres UANL after losing 0-2 in the first leg. Unfortunately even a good performance against a good opponent isn’t enough sometimes as the Dynamo fell 0-1 which eliminated them from further contention in the tournament. The bright side to losing out is more rest for the players and the team can now focus on the regular season.
The Whitecaps, who finished 8th in the Western Conference, one place higher than the Dynamo, made sweeping changes to their roster and coaching staff. Out is Carl Robinson and interim manager Craig Dalrymple and in is Marc Dos Santos along with a lot of new players. They’ll be hungry for their first point or points of the season when they travel to BBVA Compass Stadium hoping to take advantage of tired legs from the Dynamo’s trip south of the border.
Vancouver shouldn’t be overly confident though as Houston has traditionally been a difficult opponent to beat at home. Tired legs could be a factor, but one player to not sleep on is Mauro Manotas. The young Colombian has scored twice in the first two games this season and 2019 looks like it could be another breakout year for the center forward.
Last season the Dynamo notched a single point from the two meetings with the Whitecaps. In the second game of the 2018 season the Dynamo lost 1-2 to the visiting ‘Caps thanks to goals from Kei Kamara and Brek Shea. The goal scorer for Houston was Alberth Elis. In the second meeting at BC Place Jose Aja scored along with Kendall Waston’s stoppage time equalizer which saw both sides level after 90 minutes. The Dynamo goal scorers were Tomás Martínez and Mauro Manotas. All four players that scored against the Dynamo in this series no longer play for the Whitecaps.
Tired legs may be a factor. So will trying to get the bad taste left by being eliminated from Champions League. But, Vancouver will be eager for their first success of the year which should make for an entertaining watch.
Kickoff will be at 2 PM CT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX.