Following last weekend's home loss to Sporting KC, the Houston Dynamo will have little time to think about their record-long home unbeaten streak. The Dynamo will host the New England Revolution on Saturday in their final home match before the league breaks for international matches. Here are five things to look for ahead of Saturday's match:
1. Starting a new streak
All good things come to an end. The Houston Dynamo lost their first competitive home match in almost two years last Sunday when Sporting KC came away from BBVA Compass Stadium with a 1-0 win. The Dynamo have lost two or more consecutive home games only twice in franchise history and both times New England was the final loss in the streak. Will history repeat itself on Saturday?
2. Are reinforcements on the way?
The injury bug has bit the Dynamo hard in recent weeks. Tyler Deric, Omar Cummings, Cam Weaver, Calen Carr, Warren Creavalle, Adam Moffat, Ricardo Clark and Giles Barnes, among others, have all missed time due to injury. Good news for Dynamo fans - and Dominic Kinnear - is that both Barnes and Creavalle are off this week's injury report and should be available for selection.
3. Is Will Bruin hitting his stride?
Dynamo forward Will Bruin is not one to make predictions. Each year, he says he wants to score more goals than the previous year. He scored five in his 2011 rookie campaign and followed that up with 12 in 2012. After two goals last week against D.C. United, the third-year forward has four in 11 games. Can Bruin continue his recent form and reignite a Dynamo offense that was shutout last Sunday?
4. Revs with prior success in Houston
Only one team in MLS history has a positive goal-differential against the Dynamo in Houston. We’ll spare you the guessing games and let you know that it is Saturday's opponent: the New England Revolution. Despite the Dynamo defeating the Revs in the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cup finals, New England holds a 4-2-1 edge in Houston with a +2 goal differential.
5. Boniek Garcia rounding into 2012 form
Honduran midfielder Boniek Garcia was a game-changer for the Dynamo in 2012. The versatile winger started 17 regular season games and tallied four goals and six assists. Garcia played on the wing in Dominic Kinnear's 4-3-3 and completed 84% of his passes including 82% in the opposition's half of the field.
In 2013, injuries and national team callups have limited Garcia to only seven of his team's 11 games. In those seven games, Garcia has zero goals, two assists and has completed only 80% of his passes including 76% in the opposition's half. Garcia assisted on one of Bruin's goals in last week's 4-0 win over D.C. United and scored in last year's home match against New England. Could this be the weekend Garcia breaks through and scores his first goal of the season?
Tickets for Saturday's match are available and can be purchased at HoustonDynamo.com/Tickets or by calling (713) 276-GOAL.