Competition: Major League Soccer Fixture: Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: BC Place – Saturday, March 26 – 23:00 ET (03:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 15/4
Vancouver Whitecaps welcome Houston Dynamo to BC Place on Saturday night looking to get their second win of the season against their Western Conference rivals. The Dynamo will be looking to get a third victory in four matches after a fine start to the campaign.
The Whitecaps sit in unfamiliar territory in ninth place after three weeks. They will rue missed chances from their opening games, particularly in the loss to Montreal on opening weekend, and need to pick back up now.
Of the three fixtures played, Seattle Sounders would of looked, on paper at least, as the toughest opening game but they overcame Sigi Schmid’s men by a 2-1 scoreline last week.
Pedro Morales netted two penalties in that victory, taking his tally to three for the season – with all goals coming from the spot.
Vancouver now have back-to-back home games and they must make them count as they try to climb the table or questions will start to be asked of their credentials.
Houston Dynamo are the league’s top scorers with eleven goals so far – the most of any MLS team after three games in history. Will Bruin is a man in form at the moment with three goals to his name and is the league’s joint top scorer.
They will consider themselves unfortunate that they lost against the New York Red Bulls 4-3 last Saturday, having been 3-1 up, but they must now show their resilience by bouncing back here.
Owen Coyle will be satisfied with the start the Dynamo have made to their campaign and they could still have many more surprises up their sleeve as the season unfolds.
Vancouver Whitecaps have a few players on international duty with Marco Carducci, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Christian Dean, Blas Perez, Christian Bolanos and Marco Bustos all away with their national teams. A calf strain keeps Russell Teibert out of the clash.
Houston Dynamo will likely be without captain Giles Barnes, who is struggling with a hamstring injury. Cristian Maidana has a concussion ruling him out, while Tyler Deric is also out with an abdominal injury. Oscar Boniek Garcia is away on international duty as is Erick Torres.
Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/L/W
Houston Dynamo’s form: W/W/L
Key Stat: Houston Dynamo have never won at BC place.
Key Player: Pedro Morales – The Vancouver captain has three goals already this season. He is a leader on the pitch and is so vital to this Whitecaps side that need to start putting wins on the board. The Chilean has plenty about his game and will want to keep up the impressive form for the Whitecaps against their Western Conference rivals.
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Vancouver Whitecaps 1-1 Houston Dynamo – Both teams are more than capable of scoring goals, there is no doubt about it. A draw would likely be a fair result because of the international break, causing disruptions for the hosts as they have several internationals in their side. It would be seen as a good point if Dynamo get anything from it and they will expect to in what could be a tight affair.