DL_093017_HOUvMIN_matchup

Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC

The Basics

Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy
Wednesday, August 27, 2017, 7:30 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Broadcast Information

KUBE 57 – 7:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
MLS LIVE – 7:30 p.m.
650 AM/Radio.com app – 7:00 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 7:00 p.m.

Preview

The Houston Dynamo have slid below the playoff line in the Western Conference and will seek to jump back in the running for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, starting with Saturday's match at home against the surging Minnesota United FC. The Loons, while not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, are unlikely to qualify this year barring a series of miracles, but their recent form has been much improved in their debut MLS campaign.

The Dynamo sit a point behind the two teams ahead of them in the standings, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake, and are one spot out of the playoffs for the moment. With no Western teams having yet locked up a playoff spot, the situation is very much in flux, and a home win against Minnesota should put the Dynamo in a good spot. But they'll be coming off short rest, having battled back on Wednesday in a 3-3 draw at home against the LA Galaxy, a game in which the Dynamo felt hard done by some decisions from the referee but still managed to come back to earn a point. That said, if they want to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, they'll need a win here to stay in the reckoning.

Minnesota United, meanwhile, may not be in the mix for the playoffs, but they are one of just four teams to be on a winning streak at present and they do seem to have figured out how to find some traction in MLS. Interestingly, alongside Sporting KC the Loons have the most games left to play in the regular season, with five, and if they were to continue winning they could make a late push to at least move up to the chasing pack in the Western playoff race. Given the pressure is firmly on the Dynamo in this one, don't be surprised if Minnesota give them a good run.

Houston Dynamo

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – D George Malki (torn ACL); QUESTIONABLE – M Charlie Ward (dislocated patella), D Philippe Senderos (adductor strain); M Boniek Garcia (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Deric – AJ DeLaGarza, Adolfo Machado, Jalil Anibaba, Dylan Remick – Ricardo Clark, Alex – Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto – Mauro Manotas

Notes: Houston have only won one of their last four league home games (1L-2D) and have conceded six goals across the four matches. … Houston set a season high with 14 shots off target against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night. Their previous high for the year was 11 shots off target against Minnesota on July 19th.

Minnesota United

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – M Bernardo Anor (leg), M/D Thomas de Villardi (Achilles), M Sam Cronin (head); QUESTIONABLE – D Jermaine Taylor (head)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth – Jerome Thiesson, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Marc Burch – Ibson, Collin Martin – Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino, Miguel Ibarra – Christian Ramirez

Notes: The Loons have earned wins in two of their last three away games (1L), averaging 1.7 goals per game. Prior to this, they were 0W-8L-2D on the road, averaging 1.1 goals per game. … Minnesota keeper Bobby Shuttleworth has recorded a penalty save in consecutive matches entering this weekend’s game with Houston. He is one of five keepers to save multiple penalties this year.

All-Time Series

This is the third meeting between the teams all-time. The first two games were draws, including a 2-2 draw in Houston on April 15.

  • Overall: Houston 0 wins (2 goals) … Minnesota 0 wins (2 goals) … Ties 2
  • At Houston: Houston 0 wins (2 goals) … Minnesota 0 wins (2 goals) … Ties 1

Referees

Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Apolinar Mariscal (near side), Jose Da Silva (far side)
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Jorge Ramirez