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Dynamo trek north to Minnesota: 3 things to watch

Houston’s search for a win moves north as the Dynamo take on Minnesota United tonight. Here are three things to watch.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United FC David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

After a mid-week loss to in-state rivals Austin FC, Houston Dynamo FC head north for a meeting with Minnesota United. This will be the Dynamo’s first of three meetings this season with the Loons. Minnesota was the only MLS team that did not play Wednesday night so the home side will be rested, their last game coming last weekend, a 2-2 draw with Vancouver. Tonight’s game will air locally on QuestTexas channel 55 with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 PM CT.

Fafa Does the Texas Double

With his goal Wednesday night in Austin, Fafa Picault became the first Dynamo player to score against both in-state rivals in the same season. Houston will need Picault to stay hot, especially if Tyler Pasher is out. The Canadian left Wednesday’s game with an injury, after scoring earlier, and is listed as questionable on the injury report with a “right lower body” injury. If Pasher is unavailable tonight, Picault and Corey Baird will have to shoulder the attacking load. The Dynamo are currently 23rd in MLS with just 17.65 shot creating actions per 90 minutes. If only there was a Colombian on the Dynamo roster who led all of MLS in SCA last season...

Adalberto On the Way

Soccer: CONCACAF Gold Cup Soccer-Qatar at Panama Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The Dynamo announced the signing of Panamanian midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla this week, on loan from Cartagena FC in Spain. The 22 year-old will be eligible to play on Saturday pending receipt of his P-1 visa. Carrasquilla comes to Houston after two seasons in LaLiga 2 with FC Cartagena making 49 appearances for the club. Carrasquilla joined Cartagena in 2019 and led the club to a promotion to LaLiga 2 following a 4-3 penalty kick shootout victory over Atletico Baleares on July 19, 2020. Tab Ramos has a number of midfield options on the roster but Carrasquilla should bring the team a playmaker who can help create goals.

Star-Studded Minnesota Attack

Minnesota United started the 2021 season very slowly, winless in their first four games, but have found their form and currently are sixth in the Western Conference. The Loons’ strong season can be attributed by their star-studded attack of Robin Lod, Emanuel Reynoso, and newly signed French striker Adrien Hunou. The Dynamo defense has done well this season but is coming off conceding three goals to Austin, although two of those were playing a man down. The Loons will look to be on the front foot at home and put the Dynamo behind early, so the Houston back line will have to stay strong, absorb the attack, and help spring counterattacks.