We preview tonight’s game vs. FC Dallas with Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis. TICKETS are available for tonight’s match, which will air locally in Houston on UniMás (channel guide) with kickoff at 8 p.m. CDT. Davis, a former professional player can be seen on national soccer broadcasts on ESPN and FOX and hosts the Soccer Matters radio show. Look for more daily soccer content from Davis on his Soccer Matters Facebook page and Twitter.
Matt Pedersen: The Dynamo led the Seattle Sounders – one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment – into the 94th minute on Wednesday, but could not finish the win, conceding a late goal to Nicolás Loediro for a 1-1 draw. What did you make of the game?
Glenn Davis: It was a tough way to finish. It's the same blueprint, with the Dynamo collectively defending well but struggling in the attack. When Wade Barrett put on Andrew Wenger it did stir the game up and led to his goal. I think the question that is still unanswered is how does this team become more dangerous during the run of play in the future?
MP: FC Dallas winger Fabian Castillo moved on loan to Trabzonspor in the Turkish Super League earlier this month. Castillo had been a nemesis to the Dynamo, with three goals and four assists in his final six games against Houston. How has his departure affected FC Dallas?
GD: Well, if you are FC Dallas you have to be heartbroken losing such an influential player at this point in the season. The reality is [player departures] can and will happen in MLS. Who's next? Mauro Diaz? It makes Dallas different. Teams can approach them differently without the movement, pace and skill of Castillo. Diaz, with his range of passing, loses a target.
MP: FC Dallas is one of the youngest teams in the league, with several youthful players regularly in the starting lineup. Describe the trio of Kellyn Acosta, Carlos Gruezo and Victor Ulloa, who compete for time in central midfield.
GD: FC Dallas has been at the top when it comes to youth development and have reaped real rewards. Their manager Oscar Pareja believes in youth. Acosta was a Dallas youth player and was named to the MLS All-Star team this year. Gruezo has experience in the Bundesliga (with Stuttgart) and for Ecuador internationally and he will keep improving. Ulloa is another local. Youth mixed with experience, with the right balance, is beautiful! They have a committed policy to youth development and were out front in that thinking.
MP: The Dynamo can win El Capitán with a win or a draw tonight. What could a season series victory over an in-state rival mean to Dynamo in the context of a disappointing season?
GD: I think beating Dallas would be a confidence boost for the Dynamo. All the players are on notice, I believe. That comes with a tough season.
MP: The Dynamo have use two forwards in a 4-4-2 setup once this season, in a scoreless draw with Vancouver on July 23. It could be an option tonight or in future games this season with the Dynamo struggling to score goals. How does a four-man midfield change defensive responsibilities compared to a five-man midfield?
GD: Midfielders have to cover a bit more ground and one striker is generally asked to drop in defensively. It all comes down to whether you feel you can impose an attacking game on your opponent and believe in it. Wade Barrett did it against Vancouver and the Dynamo looked more dangerous. Strikers want someone higher up the field to support them.