Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: BMO Field – Sunday, May 10th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto FC 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Houston Dynamo 16/5
Toronto FC host Houston Dynamo at BMO Field on Sunday evening in their first MLS home game this season following a run of seven consecutive games on the road to open their campaign as the stadium has undergone improvements.
It’s been a tough ask for Toronto having to travel such long distances for every game so far and a return of three wins and four defeats has left them fifth in the Eastern Conference, which isn’t too bad and they will be delighted to run out on home soil for the first time.
After a 3-1 opening day victory away at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps, head coach Greg Vanney would’ve been concerned when his side then slumped to a run of four consecutive defeats.Embed from Getty Images
However, Toronto have since stemmed that flow of losses thanks to two impressive wins, one coming against Orlando City at the end of April, followed by a 2-0 success over Philadelphia Union last time out. Keeping a clean sheet in both of those games will certainly fill them with confidence.
Houston Dynamo have struggled in the early stages of the 2015 season, winning just twice in their opening ten games (D4, L4) and while Owen Coyle always knew it wasn’t going to be easy, he would’ve hoped for a slightly stronger start to the campaign.
The Dynamo suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to San Jose Earthquakes last time out and the pressure is now on if they are to have any aspirations of making the playoffs as they are currently rooted to the bottom of an extremely competitive and tricky Western Conference.
Houston have won just two of their last 15 away games in MLS, one of which was a 1-0 triumph away at Toronto last season in October 2014, although they can take some confidence from hard-fought 1-1 draws away at LA Galaxy and DC United already this season.
These sides both won one and drew one in the three meetings between the two last season, but with the home advantage and stronger squad than last year, Toronto will be favourites to come out on top.
Toronto FC defenders Clemont Simonin, Steven Caldwell and Mark Bloom are all expected to miss the game through injury. Goalkeeper Joe Bendik is also a doubt.
Houston Dynamo will be without the injured Nathan Sturgis, while key midfielder Brad Davis is a doubt because of a hamstring strain.
Toronto FC’s last five: L/L/L/W/W
Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/D/D/L/L
Key Stat: Out of the 17 games involving either Toronto or Houston this season, there have been a total of 46 goals, which is an average of 2.7 goals-per-game, so hopefully more of the same will ensue.
Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian has been an instant hit in MLS with four goals and three assists from his first seven games, so we can expect him to make the difference once again.
Toronto FC 2-0 Houston Dynamo – Toronto have won their last two games and will be desperate to impress in front of their own fans for the first time, while Houston are struggling at the moment. The Canadian outfit should secure a comfortable win.