For most people, Fridays can’t come soon enough. It’s the end of the work week and start of the weekend.
This week, there is a bigger reason to be looking forward to Friday. And it definitely can’t come soon enough.
It is the battle for first-place in the Eastern Conference when the New York Red Bulls make their first visit to BBVA Compass Stadium.
I strongly believe it is the most meaningful game in Houston since the Texans-Bengals playoff game in January. Personally, I can't think of another game in this city where so much has been on the line since that NFL playoff game. The game will be played in front of a sellout crowd with a national TV audience tuning in (NBC Sports Network).
First-place is at stake, along with our seven-game unbeaten streak, our four-game winning streak and our unbeaten record at home.
It is also the first of two games versus New York. We travel to Red Bull Arena the following Friday for the second of a very unusual home-and-home series.
These are critical points in the Eastern Conference race with only 12 games to play.
As previously noted, the game is sold out. I hope that Dynamo fans can bring their highest level of passion to the stadium and give our guys another dose of home-field advantage.
I also have two requests:
- If you hold a ticket to the game, please make sure it is used.
- If you are attending, please be in your seats and ready to cheer at kickoff.
We’ve had a long list of great moments over our brief history. I am hoping that this Friday’s game can be another.
I’m proud of the way the season has gone thus far. In particular, the last few weeks, have been great. Here are some highlights:
- We are in second place in the Eastern conference and just one-point from first place NY.
- Our 37 points are tied for 4th best in MLS.
- We are seven points behind SJ in the Support’s Shield race.
- Our goal differential of +8 is the best in the Eastern Conference.
- Since opening BBVA Compass Stadium, we are 8-2-5 overall.
- Our home record is 7-0-3.
- We are on a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2).
- We have won four in-a-row.
- We have outscored opponents 13-2 during this streak.
- Brian Ching’s goal on Saturday moved him into 12th on the MLS all-time scoring list (81 goals).
- Brad Davis made his 200th start as a Dynamo on Saturday and notched two assists, giving him 10 on the season.
- Tally Hall recorded his 9th shutout of the year, which is a career high and tops in MLS, and puts him two behind Pat Onstad for the club record for a season.
These are all great storylines to follow over the next few weeks.
The Geoff Cameron transfer continues to play out. The final step to making it official is Geoff receiving his UK work permit. Until then, the deal remains pending and he remains on our roster. This will not get resolved before Aug. 8.
Over the weekend, I confirmed to the media that we are in negotiations to sign Ricardo Clark and bring him back to Houston. That process continues to be on-going and I am optimistic that we will reach a deal.
Stay tuned on these fronts.
I hope to see you at BBVA Compass Stadium this Friday. It will be great.
For more frequent updates follow me on Twitter @chriscanetti.