The Houston Dynamo will be two weeks removed from their last match when they step on the field to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Avaya Stadium (9:30 p.m. CT, KUBE 57). They’ll look to rely on those fresh legs to catapult them to their second win of the season.
Plenty of goals could be in store as both clubs have a variety of players that have found the back of the net in 2018. In fact, Houston and San Jose are two of the five teams in the Western Conference with five or more goal scorers. The Dynamo offense is averaging 1.75 goals through four games but are respectful of the Earthquakes’ home field advantage.
“It’s going to be a tough game against San Jose,” said head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “After all, we haven’t played in 14 or 15 days, but that’s how our schedule is. We need to go over there and make sure that we are organized, disciplined and with a good mentality, fighting the whole 97 or 98 minutes for the three points.”
The Dynamo were forced to play with ten men after DaMarcus Beasley was sent off for denial of a goalscoring opportunity in the previous match against New England Revolution. Beasley will miss the match against San Jose as he continues to serve that suspension, leaving the Dynamo without their team captain.
The team will also be without five players due to injuries as A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), Philippe Senderos (right hamstring), George Malki (left knee sprain), Dylan Remick (concussion) and Juan David Cabezas (left quad) are all listed as out while Kevin Garcia (left hamstring) is listed as questionable. The good news is the two-week break has kept other players fresh and hungry for three points.
“I think it’s a good time to come back again,” Darwin Cerén. “It’s time to put our heads up and see how we do against them because we had two weeks off while they played. Every time someone takes three points we go down in the standings, so it's time to return to the game and I think we are ready for this weekend.”
Cerén will be returning to the Bay Area to face his former club for the first time since Houston obtained him in a trade this past January. The Salvadoran midfielder has appeared in all four matches this season – starting in the last three – and notched a goal in his debut.
This will be the Dynamo’s second road test of the year, 28 days removed from their 2-2 draw at D.C. United. Up 2-nil in the first half thanks to a brace by forward Alberth Elis, the Dynamo were denied the full three points on a last minute equalizer – and Cabrera doesn’t want his team to return on this occasion with another empty feeling.
“We need to be more solid defensively,” said Cabrera. “In our last away game against D.C. United we suffered two goals, and two goals are too many. We need to finish with 11 players, and hopefully, we don’t have any disciplinary issues because it is a lot better to play with 11 players, so we need to be more solid.”