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Houston Dynamo

Dynamo get back to work after short layoff to attack second half of the season

The Houston Dynamo returned to team practice this Friday for the first time since Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC. The team returned from Seattle on Monday and head coach Wilmer Cabrera gave his players three days off with the international break this weekend and no games for the Dynamo.

The Dynamo return to action next Wednesday when they enter the 2017 U.S. Open Cup in the Fourth Round at North Carolina FC. The club resumes their MLS campaign on Saturday in an away match against the LA Galaxy.

“Sometimes it’s nice to take a little break, see our families,” said forward Andrew Wenger. “We have a couple of days now to work, looking forward to the game in LA and the Open Cup game, but also improving ourselves individually and as a team for the rest of the season.”

Wenger, who has featured in 11 matches this season, has started three times this year – including last weekend in Seattle. The forward is looking forward to more minutes on the field, and making the most of them.

“Clearly I have to take my opportunities when I get them,” said Wenger. “I’ve had a couple this year and haven't been good performances so it’s all about getting on the field, putting good performances together, build a little momentum and maybe getting a goal.”

Wenger, alongside forward Mauro Manotas, was the club’s joint-top scorer in 2016 with six goals. Manotas’ four goals in the U.S. Open Cup made him the club’s top scorer across all competitions and is an example of how cup games can provide a spark for players.

This season, Manotas has already equaled his 10 starts from last year and is one of the Dynamo’s eight nominees for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. He is another player who hopes to keep doing well with the team.

“Individually we are good, doing a good job, contributing to the team with goals, good games, assists, and generating goal opportunities, which is the most important,” said Manotas. “We hope to gain confidence [playing as a team] in these next games and keep improving.”

The Dynamo’s next game at home will be on Friday, July 23 against rival FC Dallas (8 p.m. CT | TICKETS). Depending on what happens during the next two weekends, that match could have the top spot in the Western Conference at stake.