Five things to watch for ahead of Sunday's match vs. Chicago
Following last Saturday's 2-0 loss to the Portland Timbers, the Dynamo will return to the friendly confines of BBVA Compass Stadium to host Eastern Conference foe Chicago Fire. Here are five things to keep an eye on ahead of Sunday's match (4 pm, UniMas).
1. Home unbeaten streak record on the line.
There are two streaks in play right now for Houston. The Dynamo are currently tied with Real Salt Lake at 34 for the longest home unbeaten streak in all competitions. That streak includes regular season matches, playoff matches and CONCACAF Champions League matches. With a win or a draw against the Fire, the Dynamo would set the new MLS record for consecutive home matches unbeaten in all competitions.
The other record in play is the MLS record (not including playoffs or Champions League). The Dynamo currently stand at 28 consecutive home games unbeaten, one short of Real Salt Lake's record. So with a draw or a tie on Sunday, the Dynamo could potentially break the all competitions record, but tie the MLS regular season record.
Houston's last defeat at home came on June 18, 2011, a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew.
2. How will Dynamo respond following loss to Timbers?
In 2011 and 2012 combined, the Dynamo were 7-3-7 in the match following a loss. To take that a step further, in those two seasons, the Dynamo were 7-0-2 in home games following a loss. This is not a team that loses two in a row often. Earlier this year, the team lost at FC Dallas on the road 3-2 and came back with a 2-1 win at home over the Vancouver Whitecaps. Will history repeat itself when the Dynamo host the Fire this weekend?
3. Will Dominic Kinnear have a full squad at his disposal on Sunday?
The injury bug hit the Dynamo last week and Houston was without starters Will Bruin and Boniek Garcia for the match against Portland. Both players are key parts of Houston's offense so the health of Bruin and Garcia will be a key story line heading into this weekend.
4. Playoff rematch
Despite being two of the most successful franchises in MLS history, last year's playoff meeting was the first between the Dynamo and Fire. Houston took the Eastern Conference Playoff Knockout Round match 2-1 on a frigid night at Toyota Park. There is no love lost between these two proud franchises, and Chicago will come to BBVA Compass Stadium this weekend with a bit of a chip on their shoulder.
The Fire won last year's regular season series with a 1-0-2 record including a scoreless draw at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 3.
5. Fire enter weekend following first win
It has been a rough go for the Fire in the early portion of 2013, but the team was finally able to break through last weekend and get their first win of the season. Chicago defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 in front of the home crowd at Toyota Park, with Maicon Santos delivering two goals and Daniel Paladini adding a third. Will the Fire be able to build off that momentum when they visit the Dynamo this weekend?
Tickets for Sunday's match are on sale and can be purchased by calling (713) 276-GOAL or by clicking here.