MLS Regular Season 2017
TCF Bank Stadium
Wednesday, July 19th, 8:00pm EST
Both Minnesota United FC and the Houston Dynamo have just one win in their last five matches. MNUFC will be looking for a big three points to climb out of the basement of the Western Conference, and potentially launch a race towards the playoffs. Meanwhile, Houston will need to defeat their traveling woes and their opponent in order to keep control of their playoff position.
Minnesota United FC vs Houston Dynamo Preview
3 Things to Watch for in This Matchup
Both teams in this game must deal with crucial absences in their lineups due to CONCACAF Gold Cup play. The home team must deal with two key losses in defender Francisco Calvo and midfielder Johan Venegas, who are both on international duty with Costa Rica.
The Dynamo are even more shorthanded than the Loons due to Gold Cup action. Veteran midfielder Boniek Garcia, and speedy forwards Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis are all with the struggling Honduran national team. Forward and designated player Erick “Cubo” Torres is with the Mexican national team for the first time in two years. Keep an eye on the capable Andrew Wenger to pick up much of the offensive responsibility in their stead.
The MLS secondary transfer window is a week old now, and has been painfully quiet for many fanbases. That is not what you will hear from the Minnesota faithful, however. The Loons have made a couple acquisitions already including New Zealand international, Michael Boxall, to bolster a defense that has been the league’s worst this season. Look for Adrian Heath to right the ship at the back-line, and slot Boxall right into the MNUFC starting XI.
Additionally, Brandon Allen of the New York Red Bulls was brought on as another attacking option this past week. Allen, who arrives in the North Star State on a season-long loan deal, is currently tied for sixth place in the USL golden boot race, with nine goals in just 15 appearances. The striker has spent most of his time in New York with NYRBII. Christian Ramirez is the clear number one when it comes to striker options, but look for Allen to make a brief League debut with the Loons, scoreline permitting.
Struggles on The Road
The Houston Dynamo have been a formidable opponent this season.
The Houston Dynamo have utterly floundered this season.
Both of the above statements are true, depending on where they are playing. At BBVA Compass Stadium, the Orange are undefeated, but they are one of four MLS teams yet to win on the road in 2017 (Minnesota is another). The squad has a lot of potential but can never be successful enough to make a playoff run if they can’t figure it out away from home.
The Dynamo are a deep team, but they are not deep enough to seal the gaping holes in their lineup. They miss leadership and attacking prowess on the field, and the Minnesota crowd will prove to be a difficult obstacle. Reinforcements rejuvenate the Minnesota squad, and they are able to take the upper hand in their building.
After a long, grind-it-out type of match, Minnesota comes away with a 2-1 victory, and the Dynamo remain winless on the road.