Match preview: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

The Basics

Houston Dynamo at D.C. United
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 12:30 p.m. CT
Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Maryland

Broadcast Information

KUBE 57 – 12:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
MLS LIVE – 12:30 p.m.
650 AM/Radio.com app – 12:00 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 12:00 p.m.


Audi Field isn’t quite ready yet, so D.C. United takes to Maryland SoccerPlex for their first home game of the 2018 season, looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Atlanta United, while the Houston Dynamo take to the road for the first time this season trying to rebound from their first league loss, a 2-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

D.C. United 

It was an unenviable situation for D.C. United, which faced a hungry ATLUTD team in front of an MLS regular-season record crowd of 72,035 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The result wasn’t pretty, with the hosts scoring three times, including back-to-back goals by Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba in a two-minute span before Darren Mattocks found the back of the net four minutes from full time. It was the first time the Black-and-Red fell to Atlanta after sweeping the three meetings a year ago.

After his side scored just twice in their first two games, D.C. United Ben Olsen is looking to breathe life into his attack with the possible insertion of Luciano Acosta into his starting XI. The Argentine playmaker was suspended for Week 1 and came off the bench for the final 28 minutes last Sunday due to fitness.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Russell Canouse (knee), D - Taylor Kemp (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-1-4-1, right to left)
GK: David Ousted — Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Oniel Fisher — Junior Moreno — Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Ulises Segura, Yamil Asad — Darren Mattocks

  • Notes: Dating back to last season, United has conceded multiple goals in seven of their last nine MLS matches. They had kept three consecutive clean sheets prior to this stretch. … D.C. United are 3W-2L-0D in their last five home games. Over those five matches, they have scored more than one goal just once (four vs. San Jose on Sept. 23).

Houston Dynamo

The result wasn’t what the Dynamo wanted, but there were positives to take from a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps last week. For the second straight week, Houston had the better of play with 21 shots coming from 67 percent possession and Alberth Elis remained hot with his first goal of 2018 following a pair of assists in a 4-0 win over Atlanta United.

Wilmer Cabrera tinkered with his starting XI, with Adolfo Machado replacing Kevin Garcia at right back against the ‘Caps and the head coach suggested more changes could be in the works this week against D.C. United with 21-year-old Venezuelan Alejandro Fuenmayor a possibility.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), D - George Malki (concussion), M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Chris Seitz — Kevin Garcia, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, DaMarcus Beasley — Eric Alexander, Darwin Ceren — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Andrew Wegner — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Alberth Elis has already accumulated two assists in Houston’s first two games. He had four total assists in 26 league appearances last season. … Houston had four 0-0 draws last season when playing away, the most in MLS.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: D.C. United 6 wins, 23 goals … Dynamo 14 wins, 41 goals … Ties 4
  • At D.C.: D.C. United 5 wins, 16 goals … Dynamo 5 wins, 20 goals … Ties 2
  • Last meeting at D.C.: Houston Dynamo 3, D.C. United 1 (July 22, 2017)


Referee: David Gantar
Assistant Referees: Phil Briere, Gianni Facchini
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Geoff Gamble