Coming off a dramatic 1-1 draw vs. Toronto FC, the Dynamo will host the Colorado Rapids this weekend looking to extend their home unbeaten streak to 36 games in all competitions. Here are five things you should know ahead of Sunday's match at BBVA Compass Stadium (4 pm, Buy Tickets)
1. Dynamo looking to continue home dominance
For as long as the Dynamo continue to avoid losses at BBVA Compass Stadium, this will be a main story line heading into every home match. HoustonDynamo.com's Matt Pedersen took an in-depth look at how the Dynamo's current 35-game home unbeaten streak compares to Real Salt Lake's 34-game home unbeaten streak.
The Dynamo have not lost a competitive home match since June 18, 2011 and have defeated 16 MLS teams in the process. One of the two teams Houston has not defeated comes to town this weekend. Can the Dynamo cross the Rapids off that list and extend the home dominance to new heights on Sunday?
2. Injuries, injuries and more injuries
Dominic Kinnear told reporters the other day that he expects to have injured players throughout the year, just that he hopes they don't all happen at once. Unfortunately for Kinnear, the injury bug has has not been kind to the team as of late. Boniek Garcia has missed the last team's last three matches but has trained in full this week and hopes to be available for Sunday's match. Against Toronto, Brad Davis and Adam Moffat were forced out of the game early with groin and hamstring injuries, respectively. Add in nagging injuries to Omar Cummings and Tyler Deric and the Dynamo's injury report could have some additional names this week. With a Sunday afternoon game, Kinnear will have an extra day to evaluate his squad before picking a lineup to face the Rapids.
3. Replacing a suspended Jermaine Taylor
Since his arrival from Jamaica in 2011, Jermaine Taylor has been a rock on the Dynamo back line, playing all of three of the positions and filling in admirably as Bobby Boswell's center back partner since the departure of Geoff Cameron. After last weekend's red card, however, Taylor will not be available for Sunday's match. Eric Brunner came off the bench on Saturday to stabilize the back line and played 90 minutes earlier this year against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Dominic Kinnear brought in Brunner in December to provide depth along the back line and Sunday's match will be another opportunity for the veteran defender to earn first team minutes.
4. Colorado Rapids have lineup problems of their own
If the Dynamo have been hit by the injury bug, the Rapids have been hit by the injury monster. All across the field, Oscar Pareja's squad has been hampered by injuries, to the point where homegrown standout Shane O'Neill was held out of the latest U.S. U-20 national team camp to be available for this weekend's Rapids match. Keep an eye on Fridays' injury report to see who Pareja will have at his disposal when the Rapids attempt to snap Houston's record-long home unbeaten streak.
5. A chance to jump into first place
After last weekend's road point and Sporting KC's road loss to the LA Galaxy, the Dynamo moved within one point of the conference leaders. If Houston has earn the full three points on Sunday and the Portland Timbers can earn a result at Sporting Park on Saturday, the Dynamo will have a chance to move into first place in the Eastern Conference.
Tickets for Sunday's match are still available and can be purchased at HoustonDynamo.com/Tickets or by calling (713) 276-GOAL.