Houston Dynamo at Atlanta United FC
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 6:00 p.m. CT
Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Yura Movsisyan scored four goals in five games from the middle of March to the middle of April, but he went goalless in three straight starts. Real Salt Lake lost those games by a combined score of 9-1 and Movsisyan has started on the bench in three of RSL's last four games.
The Armenian international complained to the media after not starting against the Seattle Sounders on May 20, saying, "it's a joke" when asked if he was frustrated by the benching. His head coach Mike Petke responded by saying that everyone has "look themselves in the mirror at the end of the day."
Movsisyan did not get the start again on Saturday in RSL's 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union, as Luis Silva took his place again. Silva, who is known more as an attacking midfielder, impressed Petke with his play.
"Luis is not a traditional No. 9, but what that gives us is being able to come back and combine and open up space behind him," Petke explained.
With two games this week, the first on the road at the Houston Dynamo, Movsisyan could get an opportunity to re-take his starting spot.
After three straight away from home, the Dynamo finally get to return to BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday night. This is great news for Wilmer Cabrera's team, as they have won six of their seven games at home, scoring 19 goals.
They will need to rekindle that kind of production after scoring just one goal in those three oad games. Alberth Elis returned from a hamstring injury in Houston's 0-0 draw at FC Dallas, but his Honduran national team teammate Romell Quioto was a late scratch. Getting these two, along with Erick "Cubo" Torres and Mauro Manotas, back on track should be Cabrera's No. 1 priority.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: D DaMarcus Beasley (USA)
- Injury Report: OUT – D George Malki (torn ACL), M Eric Alexander (right knee MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE – F Romell Quioto (ankle injury), D Leonardo (undisclosed injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): GK: Tyler Deric – AJ DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Jalil Anibaba, Dylan Remick – Juan David Cabezas, Ricardo Clark, Alex – Alberth Elis, Erick "Cubo" Torres, Mauro Manotas
Notes: Erick "Cubo" Torres has scored seven goals in six home matches this season. Since 2010, only two players have scored more home goals for the Dynamo: Giles Barnes (eight goals in 17 home appearances) and Will Bruin (eight goals in 13 home appearances, both in 2014.
Real Salt Lake
Venezuelan international forward Jefferson Savarino joined RSL on May 9 and has started two matches since; the team has won both of those matches.
These two facts are not inextricably linked – both games were at home against teams traveling across the country – but it's clear that Savarino has given RSL a jolt when they badly needed it, with Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo away at the Under-20 World Cup.
Savarino is creative on the ball, able to beat defenders in 1v1 situations, and has shown the ability to play the final ball as evidenced by his two assists. Keeping in mind that it's a very small sample size, Savarino is averaging 1.89 chances created from open play per 90 minutes and 1.89 dribbles completed per 90. Both of those figures lead the team.
US national team fans will get a close look at Savarino on Saturday, when he joins Venezuela ahead of their friendly against the US at Rio Tinto Stadium (10 pm ET; FS1, Univision, UDN).
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: D Justen Glad (U-20 World Cup), D Danny Acosta (U-20 World Cup), F Sebastian Saucedo (U-20 World Cup), F Brooks Lennon (U-20 World Cup), GK Nick Rimando (USA)
- Injury Report: OUT – F Chad Barrett (knee surgery), D David Horst (knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE – M Jordan Allen (right quad strain), D Demar Phillips (hamstring injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Matt Van Oekel — Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert — Kyle Beckerman, Sunny — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva
Notes: Salt Lake have been shut out in three consecutive away matches (3L) and in five total away games this season (only Sporting Kansas City has been shut out more on the road – 6). The club has not been shut out in four straight regular-season away games since Oct. 5, 2014-March 7, 2015 ... Albert Rusnak has created 31 chances this season for RSL; no teammate has more than 15.
- Overall: Houston 11 wins (32 goals) ... RSL 8 wins (35 goals) ... Ties 5
- At Houston: Houston 9 wins (26 goals) ... RSL 2 wins (22 goals) ... Ties 1
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Green, Frank Anderson
Fourth Official: Ismail Elfath