Houston Dynamo vs Minnesota United
Wednesday, Sept. 11 – 7:30 p.m. CDT
RADIO: Univision Radio 1010 AM
The Houston Dynamo return to league play on Wednesday after a 10-day recess for the final FIFA break of the regular season. The Dynamo host 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finalists Minnesota United for Responders Night presented by Bud Light.
Responders night will honor current and former members of the military, firefighters, police officers and emergency medicine personnel throughout the evening. Festivities begin prior to kick off with designated responder stations around the stadium and the Dynamo will recognize each branch on the field prior to the national anthem, which will be recited by the Annunciation Orthodox School.
On the pitch, interim head coach Davy Arnaud will look for his first victory at BBVA Stadium after he opened his tenure with a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 17. The Dynamo will also look to snap a four-game winless streak at BBVA Stadium that began after a 4-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on July 3. Houston fell to LAFC 3-1 nine days later and would go on to drop two matches against Seattle at the end of the month and Chicago on Aug. 3.
Minnesota United enters the match after a 2-2 draw with LigaMX’s Pachuca last weekend and a key victory on the road over first place LAFC 2-0 at Banc of California Stadium prior to the FIFA break. That was LAFC’s first loss at home, as a pair of first half goals sealed the win for the Loons. With the win on the road, Minnesota sped forward in the tightly bunched Western Conference going from seventh place to third place trailing Seattle by a point.
Houston will look to even the series after dropping the first meeting of the year 1-0 at Allianz Field on May 25. The all-time series is tied between both clubs with a 2-2-2 record and Houston enters the match with a 2-0-1 advantage at BBVA Stadium. The Dynamo face a quick turnaround as they travel to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday to face the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.
RAMIREZ PREPARES FOR FIRST DYLAN WOLPERS DERBY WITH DYNAMO – Dynamo forward Christian Ramirez has appeared in four consecutive matches for the club after joining Houston in a trade with LAFC on Aug. 7. The USMNT forward prepares for his first Dylan Wolpers Derby in orange after he spent five seasons with Minnesota prior to joining LAFC in 2018. Ramirez earned two Golden Boots with the Loons and made 92 consecutive appearances across all competitions for Minnesota during his stint with the team. This is the second edition of the Dylan Wolpers Derby at BBVA Stadium this season. The newly minted derby is a throwback to last year's Open Cup tilt between the two sides. A year ago, Dynamo fan Dylan Wolpers was enjoying a night out at the game when his girlfriend surprised him with a message on the stadium's video board that read "Happy Birthday Dylan Wolpers." Through a glitch on the production end, that graphic wound up also being seen on the U.S. Soccer live stream of the match, instantly turning Wolpers into a minor celebrity among Dynamo and Minnesota fans.
FIFA WINDOW FORCES LINEUP CHANGES – Arnaud is expected to modify the lineup with fresh legs after five players reported for international duty over the FIFA window. Jose Bizama joined Chile for two matches in North America, Kiki Struna returned to Slovenia for UEFA EURO qualifiers, Michael Salazar joined Belize for Concacaf Nations League play, and Alberth Elis joined Maynor Figueroa for two friendlies with Honduras.
MINNESOTA IN CONTENTION FOR PLAYOFF BERTH – The month of August has been kind to the North Star gang, as they’ve put together five wins in eight matches, going head-to-head against the league’s best, including an appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final against Atlanta FC, where they fell 2-1. The Twin City side looks to stay hot going into September, with six matches remaining as they split three games at home, and three on the road to end the year. Minnesota has been dominant at home tallying a 8-1-5 home record, as it is the third best record in the conference behind LAFC and FC Dallas.
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