Major League Soccer: FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo
Toyota Stadium – Wednesday, August 23 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST)
Match Odds: Dallas 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston 15/4
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo: Preview
FC Dallas welcome Houston Dynamo to Toyota Stadium as MLS Rivalry Week starts with the Texas Derby on Wednesday night. This will be the third Texas Derby of the season but both previous clashes have ended in a draw, so El Capitán is up for grabs here.
As things stand this season’s rivalry series between the two clubs means that Houston are in a position to retain El Capitán. But a win for either side on Wednesday would decide who ends the season with bragging rights.
Dallas are in a bad run of form. It’s the worst stage of the campaign for the wheels to be coming off, but they haven’t won in four, losing three of those. Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Sporting KC leaves them five points off the top.
They are only holding on to a top six spot by two points and know they need to beat Houston to get back on track. Victory on Wednesday would move Dallas back ahead of the Dynamo as we enter the final two months of the season.
Houston have quietly been putting together a good run of form. They’ve not been setting the world alight, but were unbeaten in six before Saturday’s 2-1 loss in Vancouver.
The Dynamo are just three points off league leaders Sporting KC and Seattle coming into Wednesday’s set of fixtures. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2013 but look well on course to do so this term.
The worry for the visitors is that they’ve struggled on the road at Dallas for the past six years. They haven’t won at Toyota Stadium since 2011.
The two sides have already drawn their two meetings this season. First playing out a 0-0 at Toyota Stadium back in May before a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium a month later.
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo: Team News
FC Dallas have no injury worries ahead of Wednesday’s derby. Head coach Oscar Pareja is likely to make at least one change after watching his team lose at SKC on Saturday. Dallas also have a trip to Columbus to think about on Saturday.
Houston Dynamo remain without George Malki for the season. Other than that, they have no injury concerns. Alberth Elis will return to the side after serving a suspension at Vancouver on Saturday. Juan David Cabezas and AJ DeLaGarza are suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation. Houston play SKC at home on Saturday, so Wilmer Cabrera may have to rotate his side.
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo: Key Points
FC Dallas’ last five: W/L/L/D/L
Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/D/D/W/L
Key Stat: Houston haven’t won away at their Texan Derby rivals in six years. FC Dallas have won four of the last six clashes at Toyota Stadium, outscoring the Dynamo 13-4 in that time.
Key Player: Maximiliano Urruti – The FC Dallas striker scored in the 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium back in June. He hasn’t scored in five but is still Dallas’ leading scorer with 11 this season. The hosts will look to Urruti for inspiration as they look to end their poor run of form.
FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo: Prediction
FC Dallas 1-1 Houston Dynamo – It’s difficult to see where a winner is going to come from on Wednesday night. There is more pressure on Dallas than Houston here. But that should mean the Dynamo set up to stifle the home side, just as they did in the season’s first meeting back in May, which ended 0-0. FC Dallas have to win the game to take home this season’s El Capitán. But recent forms suggests they won’t have enough to do so.