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Dynamo face second straight Canadian opposition with Montreal in town: What to watch for

It’s now or never for the Dynamo, needing a win against CF Montreal at PNC Stadium tonight.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Houston Dynamo FC Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are back home for Dynamo Charities Weekend, hosting Club de Foot Montreal tonight. Houston is coming off a collapse in Vancouver last Friday, conceding twice late and losing 2-1. Montreal drew 2-2 with Inter Miami last weekend and are currently on a five match unbeaten run. Montreal are one of four active MLS teams that have not won at PNC Stadium, with their last visit to Houston coming in 2019.

Quioto returns

Former Dynamo forward Romell Quioto returns to Houston, looking to keep his goal scoring run going. The Honduran scored twice in last weekend’s draw with Miami and has eleven goals this season. The challenge of stopping Quioto will be even harder with both Teenage Hadebe and Tim Parker out for tonight’s match. Whoever gets the call at center back will need to pay close attention to Quioto, as well as Mason Toye and Djordje Mihailovic in a talented Montreal attack.

Showing pride at home

The Dynamo are just 4-4-4 this season at PNC Stadium, with 16 goals scored and 14 conceded. Winning away from home is tough in Major League Soccer, especially for Houston in recent years. If this team was going to make a run at the playoffs this season, they needed to be close to flawless at home this year, and that has not happened. The Dynamo have taken just 16 points at home from a possible 36.

“Absolutely. It’s not about the first goal, it’s a full-team performance, especially at home,” head coach Paulo Nagamura said this week. “I’ve been saying the entire year we need to take pride that it’s our home. We want to score first, we need to keep a clean sheet, we want to win games. In order for us to be that team at home, I think we have to score first, we have to be solid defensively and we have to be able to have clean sheets. Other than that, it is going to be the same story. We are focused on that, we are working on that and hopefully, we can have another positive performance on Saturday.”

Sputtering attack

The Dynamo have scored just 29 goals this season in 24 games, third fewest in the Western Conference. Houston has scored more than one goal just once in their last five matches. So, where is the offense? Is it just the offense? “It’s just a complete struggle, to be honest,” forward Fafa Picault said in the weekly press conference. “I think we scored some goals and somehow still, last game is a perfect example, we scored and still somehow in the last three minutes managed to blow a win. I don’t think it’s just attacking struggles or defensive, it’s just complete overall not finding ways to win games putting it pretty simply. In the last games that I scored, I think the last two or three, they’ve led to losses. So, I can say I’ve scored but we’re still losing. We have to figure out ways to win games and close them out.”

Availability Report

Houston Dynamo – Out: Teenage Hadebe (left leg), Tim Parker (health and safety protocol)

CF Montreal – Out: Tomas Giraldo (foot), Ahmed Hamdi (right leg), Joel Waterman (yellow card accumulation)

Predicted Lineup