Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs Orlando City
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Friday, March 13 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT )
Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 19/20 – Draw 11/5 – Orlando City 11/4
Orlando City’s first ever competitive encounter at home to fellow MLS debutants New York City provided late drama as they came back from 1-0 down to secure a draw thanks to a 90th minute deflected free-kick by star man Kaka, despite being down to ten men for the last seven minutes after Aurelien Collin saw red for a dangerous tackle on David Villa.Embed from Getty Images
The Dynamo will be pleased that they have the comfort of being able to enjoy the home advantage for the second week running. They fared considerably better on home soil in the 2014 season (P17, W8, D4, L5) than they did on the road (P17, W3, D2, L12).
Adrian Heath‘s Orlando team head to Houston for what will be their first away game in MLS history, so they’ll be hoping to begin life on their travels with a good performance and positive result.
Houston Dynamo recorded a convincing 3-0 win over Orlando City in their final preseason game at the end of February with goals coming from Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis, although Orlando finished the game with only nine players after Collin and Carlos Rivas were sent off.Embed from Getty Images
With the competitive element now being introduced, that will act as a key motivational factor and we can expect to see a much tighter contest between these two sides compared to the one we saw in preseason.
Houston will of course be hoping for a repeat performance and result but Orlando showed some promising signs in their opening game last week and the Lions will provide a stronger attacking threat this time around.
Houston Dynamo have no injuries or suspensions, so Owen Coyle has a full squad to choose from as they hope to make it two wins on the bounce.
Orlando City defender Aurelien Collin will be suspended following his red card last weekend. Forward Martin Paterson may be unavailable after he missed the game with New York City because of a groin strain. Goalkeeper Tally Hall remains out with a long-term injury.Embed from Getty Images
Houston Dynamo’s form: W
Orlando City’s form: D
Key Stat: Houston Dynamo haven’t earned a point when conceding the first goal at home since November 2013 when they came back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls. They have conceded the first goal four times on home soil since then and have gone on to lose on each occasion. So if Orlando can get themselves into the lead, they may fancy their chances of seeing it out.
Key Player: Tyler Deric – The Houston Dynamo goalkeeper was given a chance to shine and was kept busy by the Columbus Crew attack last weekend as he made six saves on the way to securing a clean sheet. He can expect more of the same on Friday as Orlando boast an array of talent in offensive areas so Deric will need to be on top form.Embed from Getty Images
Houston Dynamo 1-1 Orlando City – Houston Dynamo edged out a win in their last game while Orlando City showed great spirit to fight back from a goal down late on, so both will be confident. This should be another tight contest.