2019 MLS Regular Season — Week 22
Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders
BBVA Stadium — Houston
August 3 — 8:00 PM CT
The Houston Dynamo wrap up a three-game homestretch this evening as they host the Chicago Fire for Military Appreciation Night presented by Houston Audi Dealers.
Houston look to bounce back after falling to Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 last Saturday at BBVA Stadium. This was the second loss at home for the Dynamo who have outscored their opponents 21-13 in EaDo. Houston currently sits one-point shy of the playoff zone and they look to maximize their time at home with only four matches left at BBVA Stadium this season.
For Chicago, Veljko Paunović’s squad has found the back of the net at home and exploded for five goals in two matches this season, a 5-0 victory over New England May 5 and a 5-1 victory over Atlanta United on July 3. It is a different story away from SeatGeek Stadium as the Fire enter Saturday’s game with only eight goals in favor and winless with a 0-8-3 record.
The Fire will look to CJ Sapong to play a key role in snapping Chicago’s winless streak. Sapong leads the team in goals with nine in his first season with the Fire, almost a third of the goals Chicago has scored in MLS. The midfield duo of Nicolas Gaitan and Aleksandar Katia have combined for eight goals and 12 assists. Defensively, the Fire added former U.S. Men’s National Team defender Jonathan Bornstein to the backline after a stint in Europe. Bornstein will join Bastian Schweinsteiger as Chicago look to limit Houston’s attacking core that have tormented defenders at BBVA Stadium.
Houston leads the all-time series between both clubs with a 10-6-8 record and a 6-2-4 record at home. The Dynamo have won back-to-back matches against the Fire and look to maintain its unbeaten record at BBVA Stadium. Chicago’s only victories in Houston came in 2006 and 2007, edging out the Dynamo 1-0 on both occasions.
The Dynamo will travel to the East Coast next week for a two-game road trip that begins at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 8 against New York City FC.
- FINAL SHOWDOWN FOR BEASLEY – This is likely the last time Dynamo captain DaMarcus Beasley will lace up his boots to face the Chicago Fire, the club he defended at the beginning of his professional career – torching defenders en route to the 2000 and 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and 2003 Supporters Shield. Beasley made 134 appearances across all competitions for the Fire from 2000 to 2004 after joining the club as a 17-year-old. Four seasons later the explosive winger would make the move to PSV Eindhoven and go on to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team at four FIFA World Cups. Beasley returned to MLS in 2014 after a decade abroad to join the Dynamo as a designated player.
- ELIS RETURNS TO THE MIX– Dynamo forward Alberth Elis will be eligible for the game day roster after serving a two-game suspension for a red card in Houston’s match versus Atlanta on July 17. The Honduran international has scored seven goals this season and leads the team in assists with seven. Elis was key in the last meeting between both clubs as he finished with a brace in a 3-2 victory over the Fire last May in Illinois.
- CHICAGO IN NEED OF LIFELINE – The Fire enter Saturday’s game with one victory in their last 10 games after settling for a 0-0 draw with D.C. United last Saturday. The season has been challenging for the Fire as they look to reach the postseason for the first time since 2017. Chicago finished second to last in the Eastern Conference last season and look to make up ground in a tightly contested playoff race where six points separate the first and seventh place team in the table.