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Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers: What to watch for

The Houston Dynamo host a doubleheader tonight at PNC with the first team looking for a third straight win while Dynamo Dos look to stay undefeated.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo look to make it three wins in a row tonight with the Portland Timbers in town as the opposition. The Dynamo are coming off a 4-3 win against the San Jose Earthquakes, with Sebastian Ferreira scoring his first two goals of his Major League Soccer career. Portland have been up and down this season but come to town on the heels of a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tonight’s match is a special one in that it is the first part of a doubleheader against the Timbers. Immediately following the Dynamo game, Houston Dynamo 2 will play Portland Timbers 2. Make sure you stick around for both matches and make it a night of soccer.

Sebas in form

Sebastian Ferreira opened his account in MLS (as predicted here last week) with two goals last week against San Jose. Now that the Paraguayan is off the mark, could we see the goals start flowing? When strikers are cold they get pretty cold but the opposite applies too. When goal scorers start bulging the net, they tend to collect goals in bunches. If Ferreira can get on a run of goals, the Dynamo win streak could keep coming in bunches as well.

Tighten up the defense

After conceding just four goals in the first five games, the Dynamo were scored on three times by San Jose. Ethan Bartlow got the second start of his career last time out and while showing promise, is still going through a bit of a learning curve. Portland will look to pull the Houston center backs out of position and get their center forward in to space in scoring positions, similar to what the Earthquakes did. Whether Bartlow starts again with Teenage Hadebe, or Tim Parker returns, the Dynamo center back pairing will have to be disciplined and stick to their marks to ensure the defense gets back on track and back to its early season successes.

Dos unbeaten

If you haven’t been paying attention to Houston Dynamo 2, where have you been? Dynamo Dos have won three of three games this season in MLS NEXT Pro and have yet to concede a goal. The boys get the big stage tonight at PNC Stadium and will look to remain unbeaten in front of their biggest crowd of the season. Among the fourteen teams that have played three games this season in NEXT Pro, HD2 has allowed the fewest shots to their opponents with just seven. Dos are also third in percentage of duels won at 54.5 percent. If you’re coming out to PNC tonight, make sure you stick around for the second act.

Availability report

Houston Dynamo - None listed

San Jose Earthquakes - Out: Felipe Mora (knee), George Fochive (hip), Tega Ikoba (abdominal), Diego Gutierrez (foot), Justin Vom Steeg (hip); Questionable: David Ayala (hip)

Predicted lineup