The Dynamo are seeking their third straight win as they face FC Dallas in the Texas Derby today at 4 p.m. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and can be heard on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 AM and in Spanish on La Ranchera 850 AM and 101.7 FM. Here are some notes ahead of the game.
- The Dynamo can move into a tie for sixth place and the final playoff position with a win. Houston would tie the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes with three points today and could hold the advantage in some tiebreakers. The first tiebreaker is wins, and the clubs would each have 12. The next is goal differential, and the Dynamo have the advantage (-1) over Portland (-5) but trail San Jose (+2). The Dynamo need to win by three goals today to tie San Jose in goal difference. For the record, the third tiebreaker is goals scored, and the Dynamo have a nine-goal advantage over Portland (40 to 31) and one-goal lead over San Jose (39 goals).
- The Dynamo have lost six straight games in all competitions against FC Dallas. Houston’s last win against FCD was June 16, 2012, the first Texas Derby at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle has used 27 different lineups in 31 games this season, but enters today’s game with a mostly healthy team for the second straight game. Only Jermaine Taylor (doubtful, quad tear) remains on the injury report. Boniek Garcia is available for selection after serving a red card suspension in last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Colorado.
- Erick “Cubo” Torres is with the Mexico Under-23 national team for CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying and unavailable today. He scored in Mexico’s 4-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday.
- Coyle has started a different back four in defense for five consecutive games.
- FC Dallas is also healthy, with only defender Bakary Soumare (concussion symptoms) out today.
- After several significant milestones were reached against Colorado, only a few stand out today could be reached tonight:
- Ricardo Clark can pass Bobby Boswell for second on the Dynamo all-time starts list. Clark has 228 career starts in all competitions with Houston.
- Will Bruin has 11 goals this season and is two shy of tying Brian Ching for the single-season regular-season club record (13 goals in 2008).
- For the 12th consecutive game, the Dynamo have several players on yellow-card warning: Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes and Sheannon Williams are on yellow-card warning and would miss next the next game, Oct. 18 vs. Seattle, if they receive a caution today. Clark, Barnes and Williams have already been awarded a “Good Behavior Bonus” and will be on warning for the rest of the season.
- No FC Dallas players are on yellow-card warning.
- The referee is Chris Penso, who will be in charge of his 76th career MLS game. So far, he has awarded 26 penalty kicks and issued 22 red cards.
- The Dynamo are seeking their first three-game win streak in league play since July-August 2012, when they won five in a row to cap an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Enjoy the game!