Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs Columbus Crew
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Sunday, March 8th – 20:30 ET (01:30 GMT – Sunday, 9)
Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 5/4 – Draw 11/5 – Columbus Crew 11/5
Houston Dynamo host the Columbus Crew on Saturday night in their season openers of the 2015 Major League Soccer campaign. This one sees two good sides that have had eventful yet promising offseasons go head-to-head.
Houston has changed their manager, opting to go for Owen Coyle. The Scot replaces Dominic Kinnear who departed the club at the end of the 2014 season after eight years in charge.
The managerial change sees former Premier League manager Coyle take over a Houston side that needs to do better than last season as they have a lot of promise in the squad.
With the addition of Erick Torres to bolster an already strong team that boasts World Cup stars DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Davis, the Dynamo could be set for a good season.
Starting a season at home is always a good thing and Houston are the favorites going into the game against the Columbus Crew.
Houston Dynamo’s MLS home record in 2014: P17 – W8 – D4 – L5
The Columbus Crew’s changes have been more image-based as the club enter 2015 with a new logo and are without too many changes to their roster. The addition of Kei Kamara will bolster their attacking options and is a good pickup.
Midfield acquisitions, Mohammed Saeid and Kristinn Steindorsson will add depth to a midfield that is very strong. Defensive midfielder, Will Trapp was recently called up to the USMNT and will want to continue to impress this year.
Columbus Crew’s MLS away record in 2014: P17 – W5 – D6 – L6
A special mention has to go to Ethan Finlay as the young attacking midfielder chipped in with eleven goals in MLS last term and will be hoping for more of the same in 2015.
Houston Dynamo: No injuries and we’re expecting everyone to be available for selection. Will Bruin is set to start in attack while defender Raul Rodriguez should make his debut at centre-back.
Columbus Crew: Romain Gall is out of this game with a knee injury. Kei Kamara and Kristinn Steindorsson should make their debuts.
Houston Dynamo’s form: N/A
Columbus Crew’s form: N/A
Key Stat: The Houston Dynamo have only lost once at home to Columbus in MLS, a 2-0 defeat in June 2011.
Key Player: Federico Higuain – The Argentinian playmaker can lay on assists as well as score goals. He was key in 2014 for Columbus and if they are to take anything from Sunday’s game he will need to be at his best in a playmaking role.
Houston Dynamo 1-1 Columbus Crew – A game that neither side want to lose and we don’t think either will risk losing in this one. It could be a tight game but with each side bagging a goal. Score draw.