The Dynamo hit the road for the first time in nearly a month as they face the Philadelphia Union at 6 p.m. CT tonight at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes and can be heard on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM and Sirius XM FC (channel 85) and in Spanish on La Ranchera 850 AM and 101.7 FM. Here are some notes ahead of the game.
• The Dynamo are six points back of the Portland Timbers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with six games remaining. The Timbers host the New York Red Bulls at 4 p.m. CT in a match broadcast on ESPN.
• The Dynamo and Union will meet for the first time in exactly one year. They last played on Sept. 20, 2014, a scoreless draw at PPL Park.
• Houston has gained a result in five of six all-time trips to Philadelphia, with a win and four ties. Overall, the Dynamo have a six-game unbeaten streak against the Union (4-0-2) since a 3-1 loss on Sept. 23, 2012.
• Philadelphia has gained only 18 points from 15 home games this year (5-7-3) and is winless in four straight games at home.
• Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle has used 24 different lineups in 28 games this season and once again will be forced to make changes with Raul Rodriguez serving a suspension for yellow-card accumulation. DaMarcus Beasley (left calf strain) remains doubtful, but Kofi Sarkodie (right knee bone bruise) is probable and could return for his first game since Aug. 21 at Portland. Luis Garrido (right hamstring strain) is also probable after missing Saturday’s loss against Real Salt Lake. Alex Lima missed the Real Salt Lake game as well and remains out with a right hamstring strain.
• Coyle has started a different back four in defense for six consecutive games.
• The Union have four injury doubts of their own: 2010 World Cup veteran Maurice Edu (left groin strain), Andrew Wenger (left MCL sprain), Fernando Aristeguieta (right groin strain) and Brian Sylvestre (left knee inflammation) are all questionable.
• For the tenth consecutive game, the Dynamo have several players on yellow-card warning: Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido, Kofi Sarkodie and Sheannon Williams are on yellow-card warning and would miss Wednesday’s home game against Sporting Kansas City if they receive a caution tonight.
• For Philadelphia, former Dynamo midfielder/defender Warren Creavalle and Vincent Nogueira are on yellow-card warning.
• Real Salt Lake gained their first-ever win in Houston last May. Javier Morales scored 15 seconds into the match on his way to a hat trick.
• The referee is Juan Guzman, who has been in the middle for 60 MLS games in his career. So far, he has awarded 14 penalty kicks and issued 20 red cards.
• Three milestones that could be reached tonight:
o Giles Barnes could make his 100th career start in all competitions with the Dynamo.
o Sheannon Williams, who is set to face his former team for the first time, could make his 150th career regular-season appearance.
o Similarly, David Horst is set for his 100th career regular-season appearance.