Another sell-out and another great night of soccer beckons as the Dynamo tonight host rival FC Dallas (Espn2 6:30 cdt) in the only meeting of the year.
The Dynamo are 4-4-4, 16 points are coming off a loss at Vancouver while FC Dallas is 3-8-4, 13 pts and both are currently out of playoff spots.
FC Dallas Preview
Talk about the walking wounded. Out for this match former league MVP David Ferreira who has had three surgeries since a broken ankle, captain Ugo Ihemulu, Brek Shea, likely George John and Ricardo Villar to name a few.
Schellas Hyndmann’s squad is likely to play tonight without six starters and will trot out a young lineup including rookies.
Veterans like Kevin Hartman in goal, Daniel Hernandez and Andrew Jacobsen will have to lead the way in midfield. FC Dallas does have a few “flyers” in Brazilian Jackson and Fabian Castillo.
A real question is if Panamanian striker Blas Perez can play today.
Cavalier spirit and opportunity for others is what lies in front of FC Dallas.
HOUSTON DYNAMO PREVIEW
The Dynamo disappointed last weekend at Vancouver in a 3-1 loss at BC Place.
Sure they were without four international players but veterans did not seem to live up to the moment.
Tonight they welcome back Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Taylor, Andre Hainault, JeVaughan Watson all who were on Concacaf World Cup duty for their respective countries.
One would expect that most of these players will be thrust back into the starting lineup with a valuable three points at stake.
The biggest issue for the Dynamo is their play in the final third of the field where they are looking to be more goal dangerous.
FC Dallas as a pre-requisite must match the work ethic, power of the Dynamo.
After that, defending set pieces will be a key as always.
Generally these are the first two issues that coaches around MLS say to me when opposing the Dynamo.
Their is urgency for FC Dallas points and a win over rival Houston could be a platform for confidence.
Expect FC Dallas to stay compact, defend deep and look to hit the Dynamo on the break through Jackson and Fabian Castillo if they start.
The Dynamo will have to break down what I judge will be a deeper defending FC Dallas based on injury challenges for Schellas Hyndmann.
Can they penetrate out wide? Can they put pressure on the FC Dallas back four and produce more in the final third.
Look for a night of crosses getting whipped into the FCD penalty area.
The quality will need to be good in order to give strikers a chance.
The Dynamo need to be lifted by returning international players.