Houston Dynamo vs Orlando City SC
Saturday, Sept. 21 – 7:30 p.m. CDT
RADIO: Univision Radio 1010 AM
The Houston Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium this evening to host Nani and Orlando City SC for Soccer Kicks Cancer Night.
Houston will look to earn its 11th victory of the year as they aim to win back-to-back games at home prior to a two-game road trip on the West Coast. Houston looks to bounce back after falling to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place last Saturday. Mauro Manotas scored his 13th goal of the season and needs two goals to reach 50 in league play. The Colombian forward would tie Will Bruin for second in club history by reaching that mark.
Manotas will look for support from Christian Ramirez who has earned back-to-back starts with the Dynamo after joining the team in the secondary transfer window. Ramirez scored in his debut against the Philadelphia Union and most recently in a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United on Sept. 11.
The Lions have been streaky to say the least, as they needed to overcome a difficult first half on Saturday. Coming down the stretch, the Lions are 2-4-4 in their last 10 matches as they have battled well against quality opponents earning wins against FC Dallas and Sporting KC. With a playoff spot on the line, two of the three matches remaining are against Eastern Conference rivals, the Chicago Fire and Cincinnati FC.
Houston face a quick turnaround as they travel to California on Monday for a midweek showdown with the league-leading Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium. The Dynamo close the two-game road trip next Sunday when they face Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Both matches will be televised live on KUBE-TV 57. The Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6 for Fan Appreciation Night and a DaMarcus Beasley sendoff presented by BBVA.
- DYNAMO HOST 11 SUPERHEROES – The club will welcome 11 pediatric cancer survivors or patients on Saturday that will lead the team sporting custom-made superhero capes, made in conjunction with Coming Up Rosies, an organization that donates customizable head and neck scarves and art kits to hospitals and charity organizations. Sebastian Robles signed a two-day contract earlier today and will serve as the Dynamo Captain for tomorrow’s match. Robles, 11, has battled Leukemia at a local hospital and was selected to lead the Dynamo, a team he has followed since he was four years old, earlier this month.
- STABILITY IN BACKLINE – Defensively, the Dynamo have been forced to adjust as injuries, national team callups and suspensions have called for a different backline in the past four matches. The lineup shakeup forced Adam Lundkvist to return to right back for the first time since 2018 against Minnesota and the Dynamo held firm for their third clean sheet of the season. Joe Willis will look for his fourth clean sheet of the season and 10th victory in league play on Saturday.
- DO-OR-DIE FOR NANI AND ORLANDO – Orlando City enter the match after a nail-biter of a draw against New England at home last Saturday. The Lions were down 3-1 and a second half comeback secured a point for Orlando who are starting to see their postseason hopes come to fruition. Their bid for a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs rolls through BBVA Stadium as City currently sit four points back of the Eastern Conference playoff line with three games remaining. Luis Nani has played a large role in creating Orlando’s scoring opportunities this season as he leads the team with 12 goals and nine assists. The Portuguese international has scored almost a third of the Lion’s goals in league play. The Lions feature additional firepower in Tesho Akindele who has found the back of the net nine times and tallied a pair of assists. Dom Dryer and Chris Mueller have combined for 11 goals and seven assists this season as they capitalize on free space in the final third as defenders track Nani and Akindele throughout the penalty area.