The Houston Dynamo hopes a victory in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday provides the needed boost to end a three-game losing streak in MLS play when they travel to Ohio to meet the Columbus Crew at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday.
Not only did the Dynamo (7-9-6, 27 points) suffer a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City last Saturday, but Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darwin Ceren and Alberth Elis — the latter two in second-half stoppage time — received red cards and will not play vs. the Crew (10-7-6, 36 points).
Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera was also ejected at halftime for an incident in the tunnel. He will not the coach Saturday and assistant Michael Dellorusso is expected man the sideline in his absence.
That’s why defeating Los Angeles FC 7-6 on penalty kicks after a 3-3 tie in the Open Cup semifinal meant so much for a team struggling to stay in the MLS playoff chase. The Dynamo are seven points back of Real Salt Lake for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“This momentum for us, I hope we take it to improve our game and to improve the situations we’ve been going through the last two, three games,” Cabrera said.
The Crew, fourth in the East, have not played since a 3-2 win at the New York Red Bulls on July 28 for their second straight win.
In the interim they reacquired midfielder Justin Meram from Orlando City through a trade on Aug. 3 after dealing him there in January. Meram had a goal and three assists in 17 games for Orlando City after getting 13 goals and seven assists in 34 Crew matches last season.
“He’s fitting in seamlessly,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said. “A lot of the concepts, the ideas he understands and grasps.”
—Field Level Media