FC Dallas will have its eyes on extending its overall lead in the MLS Western Conference when it squares off Thursday against Lone Star State rival Houston in the latest rendition of the Texas Derby.
Thursday’s match at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston will be the second between the two teams this season in the Bayou City. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting, on July 21. They will also face off Sept. 1 in Frisco.
FC Dallas (13-5-6, 45 points) comes into Thursday’s match with some definite momentum after a thorough and clinical 2-0 home win over Minnesota United on Saturday. The victory ended a two-match losing streak for FCD and provided coach Oscar Pareja his 100th MLS win.
Goals for the Huntsmen in the win over Minnesota United came from Maynor Figueroa just before halftime and Michael Barrios in the 57th minute.
“We had a very complete performance,” Pareja told reporters after the match. “It just showed the seriousness of our players today. I’m very content for them. It’s good to win but we will put our feet on the ground and keep grinding as always.”
Dallas will get Reto Ziegler back from his one-game suspension after a red card against Seattle.
Houston (7-11-6, 27 points) is desperate to end a seven-match league winless stretch that’s seen it fall 10 points below the postseason line with just 10 matches to play. The Dynamo’s latest setback may have been the cruelest of the bunch as Houston conceded two goals in stoppage time in a 2-1 loss at home to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The loss was the fifth in a row for the defending Western Conference finalists, tied for its longest losing streak in its MLS existence.
“We needed these three points,” Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said after the loss. “We haven’t been able to win in five games. This is my first time as a coach, even as a player, I never lost five games in a row in my life.”
The Dynamo have not scored more than one goal in any of their past seven MLS matches and have been outscored 9-3 in the five-match losing streak.
Alberth Elis will return for the Dynamo after missing the past two games because of a red card suspension. Elis, with nine goals and eight assists on the season, could create a needed spark for Houston’s offense.
—Field Level Media