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Loons fly south to take on Dynamo: What to watch for

The Houston Dynamo host Minnesota United tonight at PNC Stadium, looking for a second straight win.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United FC Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are back at PNC Stadium to welcome Minnesota United as tonight’s opposition. Houston is coming off a come-from-behind 2-1 win Sunday in San Jose. Minnesota played a friendly on Wednesday night, beating Everton of the English Premier League 4-0. The Loons last league match was last Saturday, a 2-0 win over D.C. United.

Captain Hector

Look at me, I am the captain now. I’m not sure if Hector Herrera said those exact words but the Mexican international got his first start for the Dynamo in San Jose and wore the captain’s armband for all 90 minutes. Herrera has worn the armband in each of this three appearances this season and is the fifth Dynamo player to wear it this season. It now looks like he won’t relinquish the role as long as he is on the field.

Head coach Paulo Nagamura spoke this week about the team’s unity and how Herrera has helped give the team a boost. “That’s one of the strengths of our team,” Nagamura said. “When I took over at the beginning of the year, it was clear that they are a committed group of players that want to turn this around. The arrival of Hector (Herrera) gave this group a boost and Hector got along really well with the rest of the group. He understands our mission and what we are fighting for and we are all on the same page. With his arrival, our chemistry is going to get better and better, and we are going to get stronger as a team.”

Sebas back on the score sheet

Forward Sebastian Ferreira didn’t start in San Jose but he came off the bench and made an instant impact. The Paraguayan come on in the second half and scored the equalizer just two minutes later. Ferreira now has 7 league goals this season, tied with Darwin Quintero for the team lead. Ferreira is still a work in progress, but as a big money signing, a lot is going to be expected of him. He has had his moments this season and you can see flashes of his brilliance. If he can put it all together and blossom into a complete striker, the Dynamo and their fans, will be very happy with their big offseason acquisition.

Playoff push

After Sunday’s win in San Jose, the Dynamo now sit just two points behind the playoff line in the Western Conference. There is a lot of season left to play but the Dynamo know how important their home matches are and how vital getting three points at PNC Stadium is in the long run. “It’s a huge game for us, it’s been a tough stretch over the summer,” defender Adam Lundkvist said this week. “We had a lot of away games and a lot of tough results that really haven’t gone our way. This last game was huge in San Jose, so that really gives us great momentum to keep building on and going into this game. It’s about making runs, if we can put some games together, it’s a very tight table right now, and if you win a couple of games in a row, you make big jumps. This game is very important for us, especially when we have a lot of away games coming up and to have this game at home. We have to take advantage of that, we are playing in front of our fans in Houston and in the heat.”

Availability Report

Houston Dynamo – None listed

Minnesota United – Out: Kervin Arriaga (ankle), Hassani Dotson (knee - out for the season), Jacori Hayes (lower leg), Romain Metanire (thigh), Tani Oluwaseyi (thigh), Wil Trapp (thigh), Patrick Weah (knee); Questionable: Emanuel Reynoso (ankle)

Predicted Lineup