Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
The Houston Dynamo welcome the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon, with both teams aiming to return to the win column. The Dynamo looked like they were well on their way to beating Minnesota United last weekend, with a 2-0 lead and their opponents making two injury subs before the break, but were ultimately pegged back in a 2-2 draw.
San Jose, meanwhile, have notched three straight draws, the most recent a 0-0 stalemate on Wednesday in a tricky road fixture against the New England Revolution. The Houston trip is on the way home for them, in a sense, but first comes another tricky road test. Add in Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear's body of work previously with the Dynamo, and there's plenty of intrigue in this one.
One of the unintended benefits of young attacker Romell Quioto's injury sustained while on international duty last month was freeing up time for another youngster, Mauro Manotas, to get some playing time. He took advantage, playing his way into three consecutive starts and notching his first goal of the season last week against Minnesota United. And with Quioto healthy again, Wilmer Cabrera appears to have one of the deeper attacks in MLS, between Manotas, Quioto, Alberth Elis, and Erick "Cubo" Torres. All four players have chipped in with goals, and if that continues then the Dynamo will be in every game they play.
Beyond that, the Dynamo will look to prevent the breakdown that led to conceding a two-goal lead last week. "I'm going to blame myself. I'm going to take full responsibility [for the unfocused play in the second half]," Cabrera said immediately following the Minnesota game. "I don't want to blame the guys. I just told the guys, I'm going to take the last 30 minutes – the way they reacted is the way I'm looking for that team, in 2017, for the rest of the season."
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: D - George Malki (torn ACL); DOUBTFUL: D - Agus (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE: D — AJ DeLaGarza (calf injury); PROBABLE: D - Leonardo (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): GK: Joe Willis – Boniek Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Jalil Anibaba, DaMarcus Beasley – Ricardo Clark, Eric Alexander, Alex – Alberth Elis, Erick Torres, Mauro Manotas
Notes: Torres has a goal or an assist in every game where the Dynamo have scored this season. … Torres has scored his MLS-leading six goals from just seven shots on target (15 total attempts at goal).
San Jose Earthquakes
The Earthquakes are on one of the tougher two-game road trips in MLS, and while they had their chances, including a monumental whiff by Chris Wondolowski, a shot off the post by Danny Hoesen and a massive stop on Fatai Alashe's shot by Cody Cropper, San Jose had to be content with a point in Foxborough.
"It is a tough road trip," Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear said after Wednesday's game. "Tonight it was cold, rainy and on turf and Saturday it will be much warmer and on grass, so you have to be ready for anything. We will gather ourselves tonight and come back ready on Saturday."
On the bright side, Kinnear understands the conditions in Houston better than pretty much anyone. Enough time has passed that his return is no longer the dominant storyline, but there are still a few Dynamo players who were brought in by Kinnear, and the history between the sides could give the visitors the motivation to push on through this two-game week.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: F - Quincy Amarikwa (knee injury), D - Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), M - Marc Pelosi (knee injury), D - Harold Cummings (leg); QUESTIONABLE: D - Andres Imperiale (groin injury), M - Simon Dawkins (groin injury)
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): GK: David Bingham - Nick Lima, Fatai Alashe, Florian Jungwirth, Shaun Francis - Tommy Thompson, Darwin Ceren, Anibal Godoy, Simon Dawkins - Marco Ureña, Chris Wondolowski
Notes: The Quakes concluded Week 7 (prior to the New England game) having conceded just 15 shots on target – the average of 2.5 shots on goal per game being against the lowest of any team in MLS.
- All-Time (MLS): Dynamo 9 wins (24 goals) … Earthquakes 7 wins (23 goals) … Ties 2
- In Houston: Dynamo 5 wins (13 goals) … Earthquakes 2 wins (8 goals) … Ties 1
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Daniel Belleau (bench side), Matthew Nelson (far side)
Fourth Official: Marcos de Oliveira