The Houston Dynamo will host the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. CT | TICKETS) at BBVA Compass Stadium in a battle of the teams currently seeded 4th and 5th in the Western Conference.
Both the Dynamo and Earthquakes began the season with two wins. Houston improved to a 3-2-1 record and are unbeaten at home while San Jose (2-2-3) are riding a five-game winless streak with only one point away from Avaya Stadium.
While points are obviously crucial at this early point in the season, teams are still looking to mold and define themselves. In the Dynamo’s case, coping with injuries has forced head coach Wilmer Cabrera to trot out six different lineups in the six matches this season.
“We only have six games, right now, as a team,” said Cabrera. “It’s important for us to recognize that we are in the process of getting to know the players better, see how they react playing during the season, which is different than during preseason and trying to adjust a team that within the season is trying to get good results but also adjusting and trying to fix some difficulties.”
The Dynamo are coming off a disappointing 2-2 draw against Minnesota United FC last Saturday in a match where they welcomed back forward Romell Quioto from injury. They could very well welcome back defender A.J. DeLaGarza, listed as doubtful on the injury report, on Saturday as they look to tighten up a defense that has failed to record a shutout in the first month and a half.
For the Earthquakes, this will be their third match in the span of eight days and second straight on the road. The 3 p.m. kickoff in the Houston sun could supply an added advantage for the home team, but the Dynamo know it will be a tough outing having to deal with the likes of midfielder Anibal Godoy and MLS’ fourth all-time leading goalscorer Chris Wondolowski.
“We know that this weekend we are facing an important game,” said forward Vicente Sánchez. “We know this will be a tough opponent; this is a very competitive league. We have to be focused and be able to do everything we worked on the week.”