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Houston Dynamo vs Austin FC: What to watch for

The Dynamo return home to PNC Stadium to host another Texas rival, this time with Austin FC as the opposition.

MLS: Austin FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo return home for their third straight match against Texas opposition. Austin FC are in town as the opposition for the first time in 2022. The Dynamo are coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss against FC Dallas in Frisco. Austin currently sits in second place in the Western Conference and are coming off a 3-0 win last weekend over the Vancouver Whitecaps

Road test

While Austin sits in second place in the West, they have shown to be vulnerable on the road. In their three road matches this season they have lost to Portland, drawn with San Jose, and scored three late goals up a man to beat DC. Austin was also eliminated from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on the road at San Antonio, the Dynamo’s opponent in the next round. Houston will be looking to come out and continue to play well at home against this Austin team and pick up more points at PNC Stadium.

Ready to counter

Austin is currently the third highest possession team in Major League Soccer at 57.4%. They will look to hold the ball and move it around, keeping the Dynamo on defense. The counters will be there for Houston. San Jose is the team who leads MLS in possession at 62.3% and we saw how that match up went in Houston, a 4-3 game. I would expect something similar from this game where Austin has the ball for large chunks of the game but when the Dynamo counter, it opens the game and the field up, allowing for big chances on both ends.

Hadebe returns

Center back Teenage Hadebe is back, available for selection after serving his one-game suspension for a red card. After conceding two late goals last week, Hadebe’s return should be a boost to the backline. Teenage currently leads Dynamo defenders with nine interceptions and leads the team in clearances with twenty-three. Maxi Urruti will be itching to score against his former teammates so Hadebe and Tim Parker, the likely starters at center back, will have to be sharp to keep him off the scoresheet.

Availability report

Houston Dynamo - Out: Daniel Steres (left leg); Questionable: Darwin Quintero (right leg)

Austin FC - Out: Freddy Kleemann (left knee)

Predicted lineup