Saturday night the Houston Dynamo return home to BBVA Compass Stadium to face the Columbus Crew. Both teams are looking to rebound after suffering losses in their last games. Houston has shown that they have firepower this season as well as an improved defense. While the Crew has struggled on defense against opponents.
Last week, Houston was handed their first loss, on the road, against the LA Galaxy. The 2-1 loss saw both teams score off of penalty kicks. The first was scored by Zlatan Ibrahimović in the 31st minute of the game after he came into contact with AJ DeLaGarza causing him to go down in the box. Joe Willis guess correctly on the kick and while he got a hand on it, it wasn’t enough to keep the ball from finding its way into the net. In the 53rd minute Houston drew level after Alberth Elis scored on a penalty kick after he was brought down inside the box. Unfortunately for Houston it was LA’s Diego Polenta headed in a corner kick for a final scoreline of 2-1.
The Crew are also looking to rebound from their mid-week loss to DC United. Wayne Rooney scored for DCU in the 27th minute of the game. Rooney scored off a free kick after the ball made it through the wall and into goal. The lone goal was all it took for DCU to down Columbus who were unable to get their offense going against the bunker defense. The loss was their third one in a row as their last win came in April 6 against the New England Revolution.
Both teams head into Saturday’s game in fifth place in their respective conferences. However, they have had different paths to getting to thirteen points. The Crew have won four games while losing an equal number of games with just one draw this season. Despite being in fifth place they currently have a -1 goal differential. Houston, however, have lost just one game this season, last weekend to the LA Galaxy. They have won four games and had one draw. They have also only played six games to Columbus’ nine. The Dynamo also have a positive goal differential which currently sits at five this season.
Memo Rodriguez and Alberth Elis lead the Dynamo with four goal a piece. Rodriguez started the season strong but missed a game due to hamstring tightness and last week came off the bench against LA. Elis has been on fire this season showing why there was so much foreign interest in him in the offseason. The only reason he hasn’t done more is because he has often found himself alone trying to make play. Gyasi Zardes has been the top score for Columbus with three goals so far this season.
Both teams have shown they are capable of scoring goals though Houston has been the stronger team in the goal scoring category. All four of the Crew’s wins have come when they have shut out their opponents. Once they give up a goal they struggle to defeat their opponent which may be the way to a win for the Dynamo. This season the Dynamo have shown they can score early and not give up the win in the last seconds of the game, something they have struggled with in past seasons. If they can stick with what has gotten them four wins this season they should be able to collect another three points at home.
Things kick off in H-town at 7:30 pm CT on Saturday.