Match Preview: Houston eyes win streak

Dynamo look for two in a row against reeling first-year Philadelphia

The basics

Philadelphia Union (1-5-1, 7th place in Eastern Conference) at Houston Dynamo (5-4-1, Tied for 2nd in Western Conference)
7:30 p.m. CT, Robertson Stadium, Houston TX
First all-time meeting

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Broadcast info

Fox Soccer Channel (7 p.m. pregame)
Fox Sports en Español (7:30 p.m.)
SportsTalk 790 (6:45 p.m. pregame)
La Ranchera 850 (7 p.m. pregame)

Last meeting:

This is the first meeting between the two sides.

What's at stake?

Both teams are somewhat mirror opposites of each other. Philadelphia
only has four points from the team’s first seven games. However, the
Union have several games in hand and have played a disproportionate
number of games on the road as they await completion of PPL Park. If
Philadelphia can steal some points on the road now, the Union could make a
playoff push later when the schedule is kinder. Houston, meanwhile,
has had seven of its first 11 games at home. The Dynamo are looking to win
back-to-back games for the first time this year. If they do, they
will keep pace with the Western Conference pack trailing the Galaxy
before the schedule forces the team on the road more often.

Heroes & villains

Alejandro Moreno vs. Eddie Robinson:
Former Dynamo forward Moreno was a fan favorite for his hard work,
ability to hold the ball, and tenacity. However, his ability to draw
fouls might be the one aspect of his game most troubling to Houston
this weekend, with Philadelphia having several targets on set pieces.
Robinson seems to have done a good job of limiting the cards and fouls
he has conceded so far this year. However, Moreno has a propensity for
frustrating opposing defenses.

The Union vs. themselves: Philadelphia has three red cards in only seven games, and goalkeeper Chris Seitz
and the defense have given up some soft goals. The Union cannot afford
to gift a weak goal or give up a man advantage and expect to get points
against the Dynamo in the heat and humidity of the Houston summer.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm”

Ten different Dynamo players have scored goals this year, with
midfielders scoring nine of the team’s 14 goals and two forwards
(Luis Landín and Dominic Oduro) producing six of the team’s 18 assists.

He said it

“They are tough and physical. They have had some bad luck. They
have good players, and they are faces that we know. In the end, [Peter]
Nowak has them working hard, which will prove successful. Their season
hasn’t gone great, but they’ve only played seven games, so I think it
will be a hard game for us.” – Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear