New York City FC venture away from the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, where they are a perfect 5-0-0, for a Friday night matchup with the Houston Dynamo, who are back on their home pitch after getting a draw and a win against Vancouver and Chicago, respectively.
The challenge for NYCFC (7-2-3) is obvious: find the kind of consistency in Houston that they display at home. The club is a mediocre 2-2-3 on the road, and that inconsistency is the only thing keeping them from holding the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Houston (4-3-3) is looking to build off its 3-2 victory over the Fire. Continued production from Alberth Elis, who got the equalizer off a penalty kick against the Fire and scored the game-winner in the 74th minute for his fifth and sixth goals of the season, as well as support from Romell Quioto, who is rounding into shape after a slow start to the season, will drive the Dynamo attack.
NYCFC are looking to put together consecutive victories for the first time since April. They are racking up goals (to the tune of 25 on the season, third best in MLS), but closing out games, especially on the road, has been difficult.
NYCFC are paced by captain David Villa, who will be looking to add to his seven goals and three assists on the season. If goalkeeper Sean Johnson and NYCFC’s back line can tighten up play, the club’s chances for that elusive winning streak would improve considerably. New York City will make the effort with a full complement of players, having reported no significant injuries.
The Dynamo are hobbled and will be without the services of defenders A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL), Philippe Senderos (right hamstring), George Malki (left knee strain), Dylan Remich (concussion), Kevin Garcia (left hamstring) and Jared Watts (right hamstring). Midfielders Juan David Cabezas (left quad) and Darwin Ceren (leg) are also out, making the challenge of stopping the NYCFC attack more difficult.
—Field Level Media