PRIMER: MLS Conference Championship
- Should owners drop Timbers' players ahead of 2nd leg vs. Real Salt Lake?
- Is it wise to stack your team with Real Salt Lake attackers and defenders?
- Do Sporting KC have enough firepower without Kei Kamara and Claudio Bieler?
Ahead of their Eastern Conference Championship second-leg match at Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 7:30 pm ET, NBCSN, Uni. Deportes, TSN2/RDS2 in Canada), the Houston Dynamo will likely be putting a lot of focus on one area in particular: finishing.
After all, if they have any intentions of advancing to a third consecutive MLS Cup, they're certainly going to need to put the ball into the back of the net.
It's for this reason primarily that I do not recommend adding any Houston Dynamo players to your fantasy team this week.
The Dynamo scored 41 goals in 34 games during the regular season, for an average of 1.21 goals/game – 15th-best in MLS. Based on the amount of chances they created (374, to be exact), they should've scored much more. Unfortunately, these missed chances – 17 of which were big chances for striker Will Bruin – likely hurt your fantasy team in the past.
Houston were No. 5 overall in total shots (including blocks) with 472 – an average of 13.9 per game. Brad Davis and Will Bruin were among the top three tandems in big chances created with 18. And yes, the Dynamo were No. 3 overall in chances created (averaging roughly 11 per game).
But what does it matter if you can't finish them off?
Houston recorded a league-high 38 big chances missed – an average of 1.12 per game. No other team in MLS had more than 30. And if that stat alone isn't telling enough, here's some more:
Out of the 472 shots the Dynamo took during the 2013 regular season, only 143 – 30.3 percent – actually hit the target. Now maybe you're thinking, "One out of three isn't all that bad." But in reality, it is bad: dead last among all 19 MLS teams, to be exact.
The Dynamo's average of 4.2 shots on target per game ranks 13th in MLS. And their shot conversion rate was even worse: a dismal 11 percent. Only San Jose and D.C. United had it worse.
I wish I could tell you there was a drastic change for the better when we narrowed it down to just the away fixtures, but not so much. In 17 away games, here are the stats:
- Chances created: 117 (1st)
- Big chances missed: 12 (5th)
- Shots on target: 59 (14th)
- Shot conversion rate: 10.3 (14th)
- Shots on target (per shot): 27.7 percent (17th)
So why should you invest in Houston? Easy. You shouldn't.
They aren't chasing goals like the Portland Timbers. They can try to control the tempo of the game, play at their own pace and try to frustrate SKC for as long as possible.
All they need is one chance in a game like this, but is this something you're willing to take a chance on? I'm not. Even Davis is a risk, in my opinion.
Final Recommendation: Consider going with Sporting KC players at the back (read more about it here) and an array of players from the Portland-Real Salt Lake game to bolster your attack. A lot of people like this guy!
Do you think the Dynamo can get a goal in this matchup? Will Brad Davis lead the Dynamo to MLS Cup? Tell us in the comments.