Houston Dynamo ready to showcase "exciting, dynamic" play on national TV

David Horst believes the Houston Dynamo are must-see TV.

He’s ready for his team to show it on Sunday, when they host the Seattle Sounders in a rare nationally televised matchup for Houston (4pm ET, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes in US, MLS LIVE in Canada, match preview).

“I think it really helps put the Dynamo name out there amongst the casual fans and just see how exciting we are this year,” Horst told MLSsoccer.com by phone Thursday. “Every game we’ve played in, there’s been a lot of goals so far. I think the fans watching on TV will enjoy that aspect of it.”

Dynamo games certainly have not lacked excitement this season, as the club scored an MLS record 11 goals in their first three games, tying New England 3-3 before routing in-state rival FC Dallas 5-0 in their first two home games.

Houston then dropped their next two road games -- a wild 4-3 decision to the New York Red Bulls followed by a 1-0 loss in Vancouver -- but Horst believes the first two results are more indicative of this year’s Dynamo team.

As they return home to BBVA Compass Stadium, this weekend’s game will give them a platform to make such a statement.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve taken a lot of flak from fans and critics that we weren’t a very exciting team to watch,” Horst said. “I think in our first two games at home, we showed we’re a very exciting, dynamic team this year. We went on the road to two tough places to play, against two very good teams, and we could’ve arguably won both.”

The Dynamo figure to be even more exciting Sunday, as attacker Giles Barnes is set to return from injury, as is midfielder Boniek Garcia from international duty. Both missed the last game as the Dynamo were shut out in Vancouver. The Dynamo have not had Barnes and playmaker Cristian Maidana both on the field for more than 20 minutes since the season opener.

At the other end of the field, Horst believes the Houston back line has been unlucky to give up as many goals as it has. The Dynamo center back, who played for the Timbers from 2011-13,  is ready to make a defensive statement against a star-studded attack that featured Clint Dempsey.

“From playing in Portland, the matchup against Seattle is a big one for me just from those days,” Horst said. “Not only the rivalry aspect, but it’s always great to play against guys like Clint Dempsey. He’s going to go down as one of the greatest American players of all time, and to say that I played against him and competed against him, personally for me, that’s really exciting and something I can tell my kid some day.”

The star attraction of Dempsey is certainly one reason why Sunday’s game and next week’s home encounter with the LA Galaxy are highly anticipated. Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya, one of the club's owners, is expected to join majority partner Gabriel Brener, a regular attendee at matches, for the Galaxy showdown next Friday.

Horst admitted that will add even more excitement and is something that “means a lot to the players.” Those players plan to create a memorable atmosphere for everybody inside the stadium -- and, of course, the rest of the viewers watching from home.

“We’re a team that doesn’t get to be on nationally televised games much,” Horst said. “I think now that we’re much more exciting to watch, that fans will tune in when we are on TV and enjoy watching the game when we’re playing.”