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Houston Dynamo vs D.C. United: What to watch for

The Dynamo are in the District of Columbia tonight looking for their second road win of 2022.

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

The Houston Dynamo head to the nation’s capitol tonight to take on D.C. United. The Dynamo are looking to right the ship after back to back losses to in-state rivals FC Dallas and Austin FC. D.C. currently sits in last in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 3-0 loss last weekend to Columbus Crew.

Two new coaches

Paulo Nagamura is in his first year as Dynamo head coach after taking over for Tab Ramos this offseason, and D.C. United have a new coach as well. Chad Ashton became D.C.’s interim coach on April 20 after the team dismissed Hernan Losada. Ashton also served as interim coach for United during the 2020 season. The team responded with a big win over the New England Revolution in Ashton’s first game in charge but fell to Columbus 3-0 last week. D.C. is in a win now mode, especially at home, if they want to right the ship and climb out of the cellar of the Eastern Conference.

First time, long time

The Dynamo will make their first visit to the nation’s capitol since 2018 and their first ever trip to Audi Field, which opened in July of that year. Houston is unbeaten in their last three away matches with D.C., their last ending in a 2-2 draw. The Dynamo are 5-3-3 all time on the road against the four-time MLS Cup champions.

Striking first

Houston has scored first in four of their last five games in Major League Soccer play, but have only managed to win two of those. The Dynamo got the opening goal against Dallas and Austin but conceded twice afterwards and lost both games 2-1. Houston will not only want to keep up their trend of scoring early but they’ll look to start scoring more and conceding less. Simple, right? Nagamura spoke to the media this week and he sees the fight in the players and their desire to improve.

“There is an improvement with the play of the group, that means that we are (competitive) in every game, Nagamura said. “In the last two games, we lost by one goal, but if you analyze all the games that we’ve had this year, you can say that we are in there. We could have tied, or we could have won, it would not be an unfair result. I give credit to our players, they are fighting, they are being disciplined and most importantly they are playing better than they have in the past.”

Availability report

Houston Dynamo - Questionable: Daniel Steres (left leg)

Austin FC - Out: Adrien Perez (foot), Moses Nyeman (thigh), Chris Odoi-Atsem (ankle), Andy Najar (thigh); Questionable: Nigel Robertha (head)

Predicted lineup