ExLink - 08/23/18 - HOUvDAL

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 26

BBVA Compass Stadium — Houston
August 23 - 9 pm ET

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FC Dallas are looking to maintain their hold on first-place in the Western Conference, while the Houston Dynamo are just trying to end a seven-match winless stretch in Round 2 of the Texas Derby at BBVA Compass Stadium Thursday night as part of Heineken Rivalry Week.

Following back-to-back losses, FC Dallas rebounded to beat Minnesota United on Saturday, while the Dynamo dropped their fifth straight game, losing to Real Salt Lake, 2-1.

In the first meeting between the rivals this season, Matt Hedges put FC Dallas in front in the 1st minute and Mauro Manotas equalized seven minutes later in a 1-1 draw in Houston on July 21.

Five of the last six Texas Derbies have ended in draws. The lone exception was a 3-1 FC Dallas victory in Aug. 2016, per Opta.

Houston Dynamo

Houston (7-11-6) conceded a pair of stoppage-time goals by Albert Rusnak to fall at home to RSL, 2-1, on Saturday night.

Against the run of play, Oscar Boniek Garcia put the Dynamo in front in the 36th minute with his first league goal since 2015. But Rusnak leveled in the third minute of stoppage time, firing a left-footed shot in off the post and then scored the decisive goal seven minutes later from the penalty spot after DaMarcus Beasley fouled Sebastian Saucedo in the box.

“Today we didn’t have a good game, we didn’t play well,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “We tried to prepare the whole week to be sure that we, not only that we’d play well — we needed to play well — but we needed to get the three points. We didn’t do any of the two.”

  • Suspended: None
  • 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 injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Adolfo Machado, Alejandro Fuenmayor,  Philippe Senderos, DaMarcus Beasley — Oscar Boniek Garcia, Darwin Ceren — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Houston faced 25 shots and held just 36.1 percent possession in their 2-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake last weekend. It is the most shots they have allowed and the fifth-lowest possession they’ve held in a league home game since at least 2010. … Houston have dropped five straight MLS games, getting outscored 9-3 in the process. They are tied for their longest losing streak in the club’s MLS history.

FC Dallas

In a game delayed more than two and a half hours because of lightning and thunder in the area, FC Dallas (13-5-6) enjoyed a comprehensive 2-0 victory over a depleted Minnesota United squad Saturday at Toyota Stadium.

Maynor Figueroa struck before halftime and Michael Barrios doubled the lead with a curling blast from the left corner of the box in the 57th minute to secure Oscar Pareja’s 100th MLS win.

“Overall in the game I thought we had a very complete performance. It was very steady, just keeping the score at zero,” Pareja said. “We probably could have scored a couple more. It just showed the seriousness of our players today. Very content for them.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Francis Atuahene (left calf strain), D - Kris Reeves (left foot fracture); F - Santiago Mosquera (left hamstring strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jesse Gonzalez — Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Marquinhos Pedroso — Carlos Gruezo, Victor Ulloa — Michael Barrios, Maxi Urruti, Pablo Aranguiz — Dominique Badji

  • Notes: Last weekend’s 2-0 win over Minnesota featured three FC Dallas players touching the ball 90+ times (Victor Ulloa – 113, Carlos Gruezo – 104, Marquinhos Pedroso – 94). This is the second time since 2010 that at least three Dallas players did so in the same game – the first time came in early April. … FC Dallas have allowed multiple goals in five of their last seven league away games (3W-3L-1D). They allowed multiple goals in two of the seven MLS road games prior.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Houston Dynamo 10 wins, 45 goals … FC Dallas 9 wins, 45 goals … 12 draws
  • At Houston: Dynamo 7 wins, 27 goals … FC Dallas 4 wins, 25 goals … 5 draws
  • Last meeting at Houston: Houston Dynamo 1, FC Dallas 1 (July 21, 2018)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
VAR: Younes Marrakchi