The Houston Dynamo have their backs against the wall with their season on the line as they travel to Saint Paul to take on Minnesota United. The Dynamo ended their four match losing streak with a dramatic last second goal in a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Minnesota is coming off a 2-1 home win against Austin FC last Saturday. Minnestoa won the first match up of these two teams this season, 2-1 on July 23 at PNC Stadium.
The Dynamo and Minnesota will kick off at 2:50 at Allianz Field and the clubs MLS NEXT Pro teams will take the field afterwards in the second act of a Saturday doubleheader. Dynamo 2 could all but wrap up a playoff spot with a win over Minnesota United 2, who are the team chasing Houston for the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Dynamo Dos head coach Kenny Bundy spoke this week about the team controlling its destiny in Minnesota. “If we get three points in Minnesota, we put ourselves in a position where after Sunday, we could be in the playoffs,’ Bundy told the media Thursday. “This is why this league exists, where if we don’t get a result, we are still in it, but now it’s on to St. Louis. They are adding DPs, adding European players for their first team, and they are playing them in these games. It’s such great pressure, when it comes to you controlling your destiny away at Minnesota with probably have a few hundred more fans in their stadium against a team that we are trying to knock out of the playoffs. The pressure is a privilege. You earned the right to get this pressure on you. I’m excited because I can’t wait to see the energy that the boys bring.”
Dynamo 2 and Minnesota United 2 will kick off at 6 PM and you can stream the match at mlsnextpro.com.
Play the kids? Not yet...
With the playoffs slipping out of the Dynamo’s reach, there is a call from the fan base to play the kids, see what the young guys can do with the season all but over. New signing Nelson Quinones has trained this week and made the trip to Minnesota, so we could see him debut today. But, don’t think the Dynamo are going to go into a full youth movement with the first team just yet. “We are very focused on this season, there is a lot to play for,” Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura said in his weekly press conference. “Until there’s a person that can show me proof that we are eliminated from the playoffs, then we are going to probably going to shift focus for something in the future. The most important thing is that we are still in the race, and we will be taking it game-by-game, not only to be better on the field but to be more competitive and more consistent in order to achieve the goal that is still in reach. It’s difficult, it became a little bit harder, but I can guarantee you that with the group of players in the locker room, we will not give up.”
If the Dynamo want to take points home from Minnesota they are going to need to contain United playmaker Emanuel “Bebelo” Reynoso. The Argentine missed the first match against the Dynamo with an injury but comes into today’s meeting in fine form. Reynoso scored Minnesota’s first goal in last weekend’s win over Austin, his 10th tally of the season. With that goal, Reynoso became the third Minnesota United player to hit double figures in goals in a single regular season, after Darwin Quintero (2018 and 2019) and Christian Ramirez (2017), two names Dynamo fans are very familiar with.
Houston Dynamo – Questionable: Teenage Hadebe (left leg), Thor Ulfarsson (abdominal)
Minnesota United – Out: Hassani Dotson (knee), Jacori Hayes (lower leg), Romain Metanire (thigh), Callum Montgomery (thigh), Patrick Weah (knee); Questionable: Niko Hansen (ankle), Kemar Lawrence (knee)