Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union

The Basics

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union
Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 8:00 p.m. CT
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas

Broadcast Information

KUBE 57 – 7:30 p.m. (CHANNEL LISTINGS)
ESPN+ – 8:00 p.m. (out-of-market)
650 AM/Radio.com app – 7:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 7:30 p.m.


With three draws in their last four games without defeat, including a wild 1-1 tie against FC Dallas in the first Texas Derby of 2018, the Houston Dynamo remain home on Wednesday to face the Philadelphia Union.

The Union, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four games, including a 3-1 home defeat to the LA Galaxy on Saturday after winning their second game away from Chester this season, beating the Chicago Fire, 4-3, on July 11.

Since the start of the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs, the Dynamo have won all six MLS home meetings with the Union, outscoring Philadelphia, 10-2. The Union won the first two games in Houston by a combined scoreline of 4-2, per Opta.

Houston Dynamo

The Dynamo (7-6-6) didn’t get off to the start they wanted, conceding the first goal inside the first minute by Matt Hedges. But the response was exactly what Wilmer Cabrera liked as the red-hot Mauro Manotas leveled just seven minutes later.

After a blistering start, it seemed there might be an old school Texas shootout in the works, but no other goals were scored. Roland Lamah had a golden chance from the penalty spot, but couldn’t convert his spot kick or the rebound that caromed back to him and Manotas had a goal called back after Video Review.

“In the second half we showed fire, we showed that we wanted to win and we showed more desire,” Cabrera said. “I have to take the second half. I don’t take the first half. The first half I didn’t feel comfortable the way we played. The second half we played much better. We played the way you have to play in these types of derbies, these type of games.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Darwin Ceren, D - Alejandro Fuenmayor
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad injury), F - Mac Steeves (left hip injury), M - Arturo Alvarez (right hip injury) QUESTIONABLE: M/D - Andrew Wenger (left calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Willis — Adolfo Machado, Jared Watts, Alejandro Fuenmayor, DaMarcus Beasley — Eric Alexander, Darwin Ceren — Alberth Elis, Tomas Martinez, Romell Quito — Mauro Manotas

  • Notes: Eight of Romell Quioto’s 11 assists this season have come at home, tied with RBNY’s Kaku for the most home assists for any MLS player. … Houston is unbeaten in their last seven league games at home (5W-2D) with a combined scoreline of 19-7 in those matches.

Philadelphia Union

If Cabrera would rather take the second half in the Texas Derby, certainly Jim Curtin prefers the first half against the Galaxy. The Union (7-10-3) got on the scoreboard first as CJ Sapong redirected a Borek Dockal cross into the net for his first goal since April.

The second half, though, belonged to the visitors, who leveled through Ola Kamara three minutes after the break. Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke the stalemate in the 63rd minute and Michael Ciani capped the scoring in the 82nd minute.

“The players were upset in the locker room, felt like we didn't give our best,” Curtin said. “We know that we have a group that still has confidence from the Orlando [U.S. Open Cup] quarterfinal, a group that still is playing good soccer. Now we have to turn it around and go on the road and chase three points.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Fafa Picault
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Ilsinho (right quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Raymon Gaddis, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Fabinho — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Marcus Epps, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault — CJ Sapong

  • Notes: Over the last two seasons, Andre Blake has kept six road clean sheets in MLS play. Only three keepers have more in that time. … Philadelphia has lost three of their last four MLS games (1W), conceding 2+ goals in each match. They have not allowed multiple goals in five straight games since March-April 2017 (six games).

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Houston Dynamo 6 wins, 15 goals … Philadelphia Union 5 wins, 15 goals … 4 draws
  • At Houston: Dynamo 5 wins, 11 goals … Union 2 wins, 6 goals … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Houston: Houston Dynamo 1, Philadelphia Union 0 (July 2, 2016)


Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Kevin Klinger
4th Official: JC Rivero
VAR: Ismail Elfath