Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. New York City FC

The Basics

Houston Dynamo vs. New York City FC
Friday, May 25, 2018, 8:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Broadcast Information

UniMás – 8:00 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS | Watch in English)
Twitter (English) – 8:00 p.m.
95.7 HD-3/Radio.com app – 7:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 7:30 p.m.


Undefeated in their last three games, the Houston Dynamo are seeking a first-ever victory against an NYCFC team that returned to the win column emphatically Saturday with a 4-0 thumping of the slumping Colorado Rapids.

The Dynamo, meanwhile won for the second time in three games, rallying to defeat the Chicago Fire, 3-2, Sunday at Toyota Park.

NYCFC and Houston played to a 1-1 draw last Sept. 23, at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in Hartford, Conn., in the lone matchup between the teams – the second 1-1 draw in NYCFC’s home games in the all-time series. The lone victory in the series came Sept. 30, 2016 at BBVA Compass Stadium, a 2-0 NYCFC triumph.

Houston Dynamo

Wilmer Cabrera made two changes to his starting XI from the team that tied Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 2-2, the previous week with DaMarcus Beasley returning to left back and Oscar Boniek Garcia filling in for the injured Darwin Ceren.

Romell Quito opened the scoring four minutes after kickoff with his third goal and second in three games, but the Fire responded with goals by Nemanja Nikolic and Diego Campos two minutes apart tot take a 2-1 halftime lead.

Alberth Elis saved the day for Houston (4-3-3) with a second-half brace, leveling from the penalty spot before netting the 74th minute winner to earn a spot on the MLS Team of Week presented by Audi.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), M - Juan David Cabezas (right quadriceps), D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring injury), D - George Malki (left knee sprain), D - Dylan Remick (concussion), D - Kevin Garcia (left hamstring injury), D - Jared Watts (right hamstring injury); M - Darwin Ceren (right knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Andrew Wenger, Adolfo Machado, Alejandro Fuenmayor, DaMarcus Beasley — Boniek Garcia, Eric Alexander — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quioto — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Following his brace last weekend, Elis now has six goals in his last nine regular season appearances. He had 11 goals in his first 31 regular season games. … The Dynamo have scored eight goals in their last two home games – both wins – after losing both of their previous two home games while scoring just one goal.


Patrick Vieira made three changes to his squad from a 2-2 draw at LAFC the previous week, with Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Ebenezer Ofori and Ronald Matarrita returning to the lineup in an altered 3-4-1-2 formation.

After a slow start in the first half, which saw NYCFC (7-2-3) lead 1-0 on a goal by David Villa following a poor clearance attempt by Tim Howard, the Cityzens exploded for three goals after halftime as Matarrita, Maxi Moralez and Villa each struck in the second half as NYCFC improved to 5-0-0 at Yankee Stadium this season.

“I was really annoyed and really frustrated at halftime because we had some opportunities to play together but at times made some selfish decisions,” Vieira said. “Our collective game was much better in the second half and that allowed us to score those goals.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Alex Ring, M - Yangel Herrera
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Maxime Chanot (undisclosed injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Sebastien Ibeagha, Alex Callens, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Ebenezer Ofori — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Maxi Moralez, Jo Inge Berget — David Villa

  • Notes: Villa had two goals and five key passes against Colorado last weekend, the second time Villa has had two goals and five key passes in the same match since joining MLS (vs Chicago in September 2016). Diego Valeri is the only other player to put up similar numbers in a match in that time (done once in June 2016 vs. Houston). … NYCFC are winless in their last four road games (2L-2D). They have conceded an average of 2.8 goals per game over that run.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Houston Dynamo 0 wins, 2 goals … NYCFC 1 win, 4 goals … 2 ties
  • At Houston: Dynamo 0 wins, 0 goals … NYCFC 1 win, 2 goals … 0 ties
  • Last meeting at Houston: Houston Dynamo 0, NYCFC 2 (Sept. 30, 2016)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Chris Wattam
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez