Houston’s home dominance to get big test from DC
The Houston Dynamo’s home dominance will be tested by one of the league’s top road teams when D.C. United visits on Saturday night.
Houston (6-2-2, 20 points) is 5-0-2 on its own pitch this season, while D.C. enters the match with just one loss (3-1-2) in six road games. D.C. United — leading the Eastern Conference at 7-3-3 (24 points) — has already accumulated more road points this year than it did during the entire 2018 season.
The Dynamo are playing their third match in an eight-day stretch, while D.C. is playing for the third time in only seven days.
Owing to the congested schedule, D.C. rested several regulars in a 0-0 draw at Toronto FC on Wednesday. Despite the second-choice lineup and being outshot by a whopping 36-3 margin (13-2 shots on goal), D.C. United managed a clean sheet.
“I think before the game with the changes we made, we would have took a point,” forward Wayne Rooney said. “And then we kept a few players fresh for Saturday, which at this point, it only becomes a good point if we take three on Saturday.”
The Dynamo are also coming off a midweek draw, 1-1 at home against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday. Houston was the club feeling the offensive frustration in that match, managing just the one goal despite 19 total shots.
“We know that we are creating a lot of opportunities and we just need to get that final touch to finish the play,” said Mauro Manotas, who scored the Dynamo’s goal. “Just a little more quality at the end and a little more patience to either score the goal or lay the ball off to a teammate in a better position.”
Rooney and Manotas lead their respective sides with six goals apiece.
After missing Houston’s first nine league games due to a knee injury, DaMarcus Beasley returned to play the full 90 minutes against Portland. Beasley could be questionable for another start on Saturday, if the club doesn’t want to over-exert him during the short week.
Maynor Figueroa isn’t likely to be available for Houston after learning just moments after the conclusion of Wednesday’s match of his father’s death. D.C. United will be without Chris Durkin (international duty), while Junior Moreno is questionable after missing United’s last match, also because of the death of his father.
REUTERS/Field Level Media