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Dynamo v LAFC: 3 things to watch

Houston hosts its first national TV game of 2021 with LAFC coming to BBVA Stadium.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Los Angeles FC Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dynamo return home after their first loss of the season, and mighty LAFC awaits. Can Houston cook up some home cooking at BBVA Stadium and get back in the win column? Here are three things to watch.

The Bright Lights, During the Day

Houston hosts the visitors from the Los Angeles Football Club on Saturday in the first of six nationally televised games for the club in 2021. The game will be available on Univision, TUDN, and in English on Twitter. The Dynamo have among the fewest number of national TV games this season amongst the 27 Major League Soccer teams so they will certainly be looking to make an impact when they are in front of a national audience.

First Time for Everything

The Dynamo have never beaten LAFC in Major League Soccer play. Yeah, they came close last year, leading 3-1 at halftime at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, but that match ended in a 3-3 draw. Houston’s only win in the all-time series was in the semifinals of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal that was decided by a penalty kick shootout, en route to the Dynamo’s championship. LAFC won the most recent match up, 2-1 in Los Angeles last October.

No Vela

MLS: Austin FC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mexican superstar and 2019 MLS MVP Carlos Vela is out for this afternoon’s game due to a quad injury. While a player of Vela’s caliber being out would be a huge issue for most teams, LAFC still boasts plenty of firepower. 2020 MLS Golden Boot winner Diego Rossi is expected back today and the Uruguayan will be keen to open his account for 2021. The Dynamo defense will have their hands full today with Rossi, Corey Baird, Latif Blessing, Eduard Atuesta, and the rest of the LAFC attack. If Houston can keep the visitors scoreless or even hold them to one goal, three points could be on tap.