Pregame notes ahead of Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

The Dynamo remain at home after the international break to host Real Salt Lake at 7:30 p.m. CT tonight at BBVA Compass Stadium. TICKETS are still available for tonight’s game. The match will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS Southwest Alternate Channel and TeleXitos (channel guide) and can via English audio stream at and on radio 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 final three playoff spots – shared by three clubs, Portland, Seattle and Sporting Kansas City – with seven games remaining. A win tonight would pull the Dynamo within three points of Portland (off this weekend), and possibly closer to Seattle (who visit San Jose tonight) and Sporting KC (at Orlando City on Sunday).
• It has been over four months since the Dynamo lost at home or Real Salt Lake won on the road in league play.  
• The Dynamo are unbeaten in their last eight home games in all competitions (7-0-1), outscoring opponents 18-5. Houston’s last home loss came against San Jose on May 5, a 1-0 defeat.
• Real Salt Lake has lost all of its last eight road games in MLS play. Their last road win was on May 9 at Chicago.
• Like Vancouver, who visited Houston Aug. 29 for their eighth game in August, Real Salt Lake enters September after a busy month of August that included seven games, including MLS, CONCACAF Champions League and the U.S. Open Cup, where they fell to Sporting KC in the semifinals.
• Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle has used 23 different lineups in 27 games this season. He could use a 24th different lineup tonight, with several injury doubts.
• DaMarcus Beasley (left calf strain), Kofi Sarkodie (right knee bone bruise) and Luis Garrido (right hamstring strain) are all out tonight. Garrido suffered the hamstring injury with Honduras in a 2-0 loss at Ecuador on Tuesday. Alex Lima is doubtful with a right hamstring strain after starting each of the last nine games and playing 90 minutes in the last four.
• Coyle has started a different back four in defense for five consecutive games.
• Real Salt Lake will miss two regular starters due to yellow-card accumulation. Veteran right back Tony Beltran, a 2015 MLS All-Star, and central midfielder Luke Mulholland are both suspended. Center back Chris Schuller is also out after undergoing foot surgery this week.
• For the ninth straight game, the Dynamo have two available players on yellow-card warning: Ricardo Clark and Raul Rodriguez. On the positive side, Sheanon Williams received the “good behavior bonus” after his third straight game without a caution and is no longer on warning.
• For Real Salt Lake, forward Olmes Garcia and defender Demar Phillips 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 Robert Sibiga, who has been in the middle of only two MLS games in his career. So far, he has issued one red card and no penalty kicks.
• Three milestones that could be reached tonight:
o Ricardo Clark has made 234 career appearances in all competitions with the Dynamo and would pass Bobby Boswell for third on the club list with an appearance tonight.
o Will Bruin (127 career regular-season starts) can pass Brian Mullan for seventh on the club list with a start.
o Brad Dabis has 24 appearances this season and can reach 25 appearances for eighth consecutive season (2008-2015) with an appearance tonight.

Enjoy the game!