Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m. CT
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
A pair of teams coming off midweek games at Western Conference opponents will meet in the nation’s capital on Saturday night, when D.C. United will host the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium.
Saturday’s match marks a good opportunity for D.C. to flush the bitter taste of their disheartening 4-3 defeat at Seattle on Wednesday. United held a 3-0 lead in the second-half at CenturyLink Field, but collapsed down the stretch to fall 4-3 to the Sounders, becoming the first team in MLS history to lose a game in regulation in which they held a three-goal lead in the process.
Houston aren’t dealing with that level of disappointment, but they weren’t exactly thrilled with their 0-0 draw at Minnesota on Wednesday. The Dynamo had plenty of good looks on goal against the Loons, but couldn’t convert any of their solid opportunities, moving to 0-7-3 on the road with the result.
“We lost an opportunity to win a game due to a lack of finishing,” head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters after the match. “We do very well at home. Today, everyone in front of goal lacked finishing. We missed some unbelievable opportunities. We lost a chance to win our first game [on the road]. It’s on us.
"The first half, we should’ve finished 3-0 easily. We just kept missing and missing.”
Thursday’s flight from Seattle to D.C. must’ve felt like an eternity for the Black-and-Red.
Wednesday’s loss at the Sounders wasn’t just a historic collapse, it was last-place D.C.’s fourth defeat in a row and their 12th on the year, tied for the most in MLS. It was a new low point in what’s been a trying year for United, though it did feature some positives in the attack.
After being held scoreless 12 times in their first 18 matches, United have now scored five goals in their last two MLS contests. New striker Deshorn Brown has scored in each of D.C.’s last two matches, as has rookie midfielder Ian Harkes. They’ll need an assist from United’s backline if their solid form is to mean anything on Saturday, however. D.C.’s backline has been putrid recently, allowing four goals in each of their last two outings.
- Suspended: M Marcelo Sarvas (yellow card accumulation)
- International duty: GK Bill Hamid (USA)
- Injury Report: OUT: F Patrick Mullins (knee); QUESTIONABLE: M Rob Vincent (left knee meniscus), D/M Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Travis Worra – Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp – Jared Jeffrey, Ian Harkes – Patrick Nyarko, Luciano Acosta, Lloyd Sam – Deshorn Brown
The Dynamo might not have a better opportunity than Saturday for their first away win of 2017.
With D.C. coming off of a demoralizing defeat on the opposite end of the country and Houston head coach Wilmer Cabrera none-too-pleased with Wednesday’s draw at Minnesota, expect the Dynamo to come out of the gate firing on Saturday.
Even though Honduras fell on Thursday in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, it’s unlikely that any of the Dynamo’s Catracho contingent of Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis or Boniek García will be available on Saturday. Forward Erick Torres will also miss the match while on Gold Cup duty with Mexico. They won’t have the main thrust of their high-powered attack, but Mauro Manotas and Andrew Wenger have more than enough talent to unlock D.C.’s woebegone backline. We’ll see if their play results in the Dynamo’s first road victory of 2017.
- Suspended: None
- International duty: F Erick Torres (Mexico)
- Injury Report: OUT: D George Malki (torn left ACL); DOUBTFUL: M Eric Alexander (right MCL strain); PROBABLE: GK Tyler Deric (lower right leg)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Tyler Deric – DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, AJ DeLaGarza – Ricardo Clark, Juan David Cabezas – Memo Rodriguez, Alex, Andrew Wenger – Mauro Manotas
- Overall: D.C. 6 wins, 22 goals; Houston 13 wins, 38 goals; 4 draws
- At D.C.: D.C. 5 wins, 15 goals; Houston 4 wins, 17 goals; 2 draws
- Referee: Marcos DeOliveira
- Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Jonathan Johnson
- Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik