Playing well is a hollow achievement when it doesn’t produce wins, a scenario the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy hope to rectify when the two sides square off on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.
Houston dropped a 2-1 decision at Minnesota United last Saturday even though it scored early and dominated the match in every category except the final score.
After being nearly unbeatable at home last season, the Dynamo are just 2-2 on their pitch in 2018 and continue to struggle. Houston, last year’s Western Conference finalist, is 2-3-2 this season.
Houston coach Wilmer Cabrera said his team is better than its record shows, but that prowess is not translating into goals.
“In the end it’s not how you play, it’s about how many points you are getting or not getting,” Cabrera said. “We have to improve.”
In their most recent home match on April 21, the Dynamo shellacked a short-handed Toronto FC squad that was more focused on the CONCACAF Champions League finals against Chivas than playing Houston.
Still, the Dynamo thought they would take a measure of momentum with them to Minnesota and were stunned that they didn’t get the result they sought.
“We were looking for our first win away [from home] and we worked very hard to try to get it,” Dynamo midfielder Darwin Ceren said after the loss in Minnesota. “We put the pressure on throughout the match, and we had our chances. We will just continue to move forward — we have more games and we will go back home and prepare for the Galaxy.”
The Galaxy have shown some signs of life despite a 3-2 home loss to New York Red Bulls last Saturday. Los Angeles has lost three straight home matches and has played better away from its pitch.
In their loss to New York, the Galaxy utilized a 4-3-3 formation and were happy with the chances the attack created.
“I know it sounds like a broken record, but it takes a little bit of time (to get to where we want to be),” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. “As a group, just the final decision making needs to get better, but that comes as they can play together more. This is the first time this formation played together.”
Los Angeles beat Chicago 1-0 on the road on April 14 but has not won consecutive games away from home since a three-game winning streak from May 14-27, 2017.
The Galaxy lead the all-time series with the Dynamo 10-9, with seven ties, including the teams’ most recent match in Houston last September. The Dynamo have a 6-5 edge over the Galaxy in games played in the Bayou City, with three ties.
—Field Level Media