ExLink - 08/11/18 - CLBvHOU

Columbus Crew SC vs. Houston Dynamo | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Columbus Crew SC vs. Houston Dynamo
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 24

MAPFRE Stadium — Columbus
August 11 - 7:30 pm ET


Two teams trending in opposite directions meet at MAPFRE Stadium when Columbus Crew SC host the Houston Dynamo Saturday night

Coming off a Week 23 bye, Crew SC have won back-to-back games after a 3-2 victory over the New York Red Bulls on July 28 and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while the Dynamo are winless in their last five games, and suffered their third straight defeat after falling to Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, last Saturday.

Crew SC have lost just one home league game to Houston (6W-4D) – a 2-1 defeat in June, 2007, per Opta.

Columbus Crew SC       

Columbus Crew SC (10-7-6) went into an MLS All-Star Game break off back-to-back 3-2 victories against Eastern Conference foes, though they were very different wins.

Wil Trapp scored a late banger in a come-from-behind win over Orlando City SC and then Columbus opened up a three-goal lead after 31 minutes before holding off a late Red Bulls comeback.

“It was nice to give the guys a couple days off after the Red Bulls game and then get back and really ramp up the intensity,” Gregg Berhalter said. “Last week started with three good days of training and so far this week we’ve had two good days so we’ve been pleased.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Eduardo Sosa (right knee meniscectomy); QUESTIONABLE:  M - Federico Higuain (back pain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Milton Valenzuela — Artur, Wil Trapp — Pedro Santos, Luis Argudo, Justin Meram — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Patrick Mullins finished with a goal and an assist in Crew SC’s 3-2 win over the Red Bulls on July 28, equaling his total from his previous 15 league appearances with Columbus and D.C. United. … Columbus have suffered just one defeat in their last nine league games at Mapfre Stadium (5W-3D), scoring multiple goals in six of the nine matches.

Houston Dynamo   

The Dynamo (7-9-6) put their league struggles behind them and dramatically booked their first ticket to the U.S. Open Cup final, advancing on penalty kicks over LAFC Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Houston rallied from an early deficit to take a 2-1 lead into halftime on goals from Andrew Wenger and Mauro Manotas. Memo Rodriguez made it 3-1 with a quarter-hour remaining, but Diego Rossi struck twice in the final 12 minutes to complete a hat trick and send the match into extra-time.

Finally, Philippe Senderos clinched the win in the eighth round of PKs as the Dynamo advanced, 7-6, in the shootout.

“I’m really proud of the players and I appreciate the support of the fans. Since 2009 we haven’t been in the final. Houston Dynamo is in the final and it’s well deserved,” Wilmer Cabrera said. “To the city, to the fans, it’s well deserved and to my players, I’m really happy and proud of them because we’ve been suffering a lot. It’s been difficult, but they haven’t given up. That’s the most important.”

  • Suspended: D - Alejandro Fuenmayor, M - Darwin Ceren, M - Alberth Elis
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad injury), F - Mac Steeves (left hip surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Adolfo Machado, Jared Watts, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley — Eric Alexander, Oscar Boniek Garcia — Andrew Wenger, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Last weekend, the Dynamo became just the second team since 2010 to receive three red cards in a MLS match (inc. playoffs). The Montreal Impact also saw red three times in Oct. 2013 against the Dynamo. … The Dynamo have one win in their last eight MLS games (4L-3D). Additionally, they have been outscored 7-3 over their last five.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Columbus Crew SC 7 wins, 30 goals … Houston Dynamo 6 wins, 26 goals … 10 draws
  • At Columbus: Crew SC  6wins, 19 goals … Dynamo 1 win, 9 goals … 4 draws
  • Last meeting at Columbus: Columbus Crew SC 1, Houston Dynamo 0 (April 23, 2016)


Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Logan Brown, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.