Houston might have finally turned the corner and put together the pieces to make another run into the postseason — and perhaps find success if it gets there. One of the biggest measures of their improvement will be in how the Dynamo play on the road, and the latest such test comes Saturday when they visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colo.
The Dynamo (7-6-4, 25 points and one point below the playoff line) head to the eastern slope of the Rockies on the heels of a dominating 3-0 home win last Saturday against Minnesota United FC.
Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera has apparently found the magic formula for positive results — win a corner and let defender Philippe Senderos do the rest.
After scoring late in second-half injury time against LAFC to help the Dynamo to an unlikely 2-2 draw on July 3, Senderos struck for a brace off of set pieces in the home-match win over Minnesota before Alberth Elis finished off the Loons with a late goal.
“We knew that they’ve been playing really well,” Cabrera said of Minnesota. “We won because the whole team was very solid, starting with Joe Willis in goal. He was very sharp when he had to be sharp.”
Colorado (4-11-3, 15 points) returns to the outskirts of the Mile High City after a 2-1 loss at Montreal on July 7.
The Rapids conceded two goals in the span of a minute (55th and 56th) to the Impact’s Saphir Taider before cutting the lead in half with a goal by Dominique Badji in the 78th minute to make things interesting.
Colorado, currently in 11th place in the 12-team Western Conference, had posted a three-game unbeaten streak (two wins and draw) prior to the loss and will look to its home pitch to provide a bit of an advantage against Houston, a side that is just 1-4-3 away from home.
“We had two or three good performances and good results prior to the start of all that travel and I think what we need to do is put that week behind us and look forward to Saturday,” Colorado coach Anthony Hudson said. “It’s a game we’re looking forward to. Hopefully we can get everyone fit. We just need to put that behind us.”
Houston beat the Rapids 2-0 on June 9 in the first meeting of the year between the two sides. Colorado holds an 11-9 edge all time against the Dynamo (with seven draws) and an 8-3 advantage at home (with three draws), including a 3-1 win over Houston in the most recent match in Colorado, on July 1 of last year.
—Field Level Media