Five story lines ahead of Saturday's match vs. San Jose
Following last week's 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Dynamo will welcome the San Jose Earthquakes to BBVA Compass Stadium for the first time on Saturday. The Earthquakes are coming off a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders and currently sit tied for second in the Western Conference with a 2-1-1 record. The Dynamo are 2-1-0 through three games and are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Here are five key story lines to get you prepared for this weekend's match:
1. Dynamo look to keep their home unbeaten streak alive
If this were the NBA, NFL or MLB, it's a story that would be the lead on SportsCenter. The Dynamo enter Saturday's match with a 33-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions, one shy of Real Salt Lake's all-time record (34). A win or a draw against San Jose would tie the all competitions record and put Houston within one of tying the MLS regular season record (29). To put things into context, D.C. United lost at home last weekend, snapping the second longest active home unbeaten streak in MLS at 17 games. Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas are now tied for the second longest active unbeaten streak in MLS play with seven home games unbeaten.
2. Containing potent San Jose attack
The San Jose Earthquakes took the league by storm last year, scoring late goal after late goal and finishing the season with a franchise-best 72 goals scored. San Jose had three players score 10+ goals (Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart) and another add eight (Simon Dawkins). Gordon and Lenhart have yet to play in 2013 and the results have showed, with the Earthquakes totalling only four goals through their first four games. Can the Dynamo defense follow suit and keep the San Jose attack at bay?
3. Wondo makes first trip to BBVA Compass Stadium
Yes, Chris Wondolowski was a member of the USMNT squad that drew Canada 0-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium, but Saturday's match will be the first for Wondolowski as a member of the Earthquakes at the Dynamo's downtown home. The former Dynamo striker blossomed after the 2009 trade for Cam Weaver, winning back-to-back Golden Boot titles and totalling 61 goals from 2010-2012. Despite his high scoring totals, Wondolowski has yet to score against the Dynamo. Will that change on Saturday or will Houston players continue to shut out their former teammate?
4. Dominic Kinnear in unenviable position of picking lineup
There are many people who would love to have Dominic Kinnear's job and manage a professional sports team. But last Saturday's match proved that Kinnear's job of picking a starting lineup is starting to get as hard as ever. With three starters missing due to national team commitments, the Dynamo did not miss a beat en route to a 2-1 victory over Vancouver. With the return of Brad Davis, Jermaine Taylor and Boniek Garcia to Houston for Saturday's match, Kinnear will have a full complement of players to choose from when he fills out his lineup card.
5. A head coaching matchup for the ages
Speaking of Kinnear, his relationship with Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop has been well-documented. Kinnear worked on Yallop's staff at San Jose and took over the head coaching position when Yallop left to coach the Canadian national team. The two men have had remarkable careers, each totalling 116 regular season wins, good for fourth on the MLS all-time charts. Will one of them take home win No. 117 on Saturday and take the upper-hand in the friendly rivalry?
Tickets for Saturday's match are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling (713) 276-GOAL. Click here for more information on the special Guys Night Out package, presented by Budweiser.