Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

The Basics

Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, August 18, 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)
97.5 HD-3 FM/Radio.com app – 7:30 p.m.
Univision Radio 1010 AM – 7:30 p.m.


Desperate for a win to move closer to the playoff line in the Western Conference, the Houston Dynamo host a Real Salt Lake squad that has won just once away from Rio Tinto Stadium.

After four consecutive losses, including back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Sporting Kansas City and Columbus Crew SC, the Dynamo need a win in the worst way Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium, while Real Salt Lake are coming off a 2-0 midweek loss at LAFC and are clinging to sixth place in the West.

This is the second meeting this season between the teams, with Real Salt Lake winning 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 30 with Kyle Beckerman scoring the winner in the 82nd minute, seven minutes after Alberth Elis leveled. Luis Silva opened the scoring in the 34th minute.

Houston Dynamo

Down three regulars as well as coach Wilmer Cabrera to suspension, Houston (7-10-6) battled to the end and nearly earned a share of the points with Crew SC, but conceded late to fall, 1-0, last Saturday.

Gyasi Zardes scored the decisive goal in second-half stoppage time, his third in as many games, latching onto a lobbed pass from Harrison Afful to tap in the winner.

“For 89 minutes, we did what we wanted to do,” assistant coach Michael Dellorusso said. “We came in here and made it very difficult on them. It’s very difficult coming in here after Wednesday night and guys really showed a lot of grit, worked very hard, did the job we wanted to do, but for 89 minutes.”

  • Suspended: F - Alberth Elis
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • 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)

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

Real Salt Lake

The road woes continued for Real Salt Lake (10-10-5), which had a four-match unbeaten streak snapped with a 2-0 loss at LAFC on Wednesday night.

After having a goal called back for offside, Christian Ramirez scored his first goal for LAFC in the 13th minute and tacked on a second in the 30th minute. To make matters worse for RSL, which fell to 1-9-2 on the road this season, stalwart goalkeeper Nick Rimando was replaced at halftime by Andrew Putna after sustaining an injury.

“I thought [Andrew Putna] came on in a very difficult situation, without experience in that situation, and I thought he did very well,” Mike Petke said. “From a bad thing where Nick [Rimando] got hurt, it’s almost a good thing that he went into a situation like that where he didn’t have time to think, just go on and just do his thing.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Marcelo Silva, D - Justen Glad
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), M - Luke Mulholland (back injury), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery), F - Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee surgery), GK - Connor Sparrow (knee injury), F - Luis Silva (groin injury); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Nick Rimando (undisclosed injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Andrew Putna — Brooks Lennon, Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera — Joao Plata, Damir Kreilach, Sunny, Albert Rusnak — Corey Baird, Jefferson Savarino

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Houston Dynamo 12 wins, 38 goals … Real Salt Lake 9 wins, 38 goals … 6 draws
  • At Houston: Dynamo 10 wins, 31 goals … Real Salt Lake 2 wins, 23 goals … 1 draw
  • Last meeting at Houston: Houston Dynamo 5, Real Salt Lake 1 (May 31, 2017)


Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker, Felisha Mariscal
4th Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez