Philadelphia Union (1-5-1, 7th place in Eastern Conference) vs. Houston Dynamo (5-4-1, Tied for 2nd in Western Conference)
Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español, 8:30 p.m. ET
This is the first meeting between the two sides.
What's At Stake?
Both teams are somewhat mirror opposites of each other. Philadelphia only have four points from the team’s first seven games. However, the Union have several games in hand and have played a disproportionate number of games on the road as they await completion of PPL Park. If Philadelphia can steal some points on the road now, they could make a playoff push later when the schedule is kinder. Houston, meanwhile, have had seven of their first 11 games at home. The Dynamo look to win in consecutive games for the first time this year. If they do, they hope to keep pace with the Western Conference pack trailing the Galaxy before the schedule forces the team on the road more often.
Heroes & Villains
Alejandro Moreno vs. Eddie Robinson: Former Dynamo forward Moreno was a fan favorite for his hard work, ability to hold the ball and his tenacity. However, his ability to draw fouls might be the one aspect of his game most troubling to Houston this weekend with Philadelphia having several targets on set pieces. Robinson seems to have done a good job of limiting the cards and fouls he has conceded so far this year. However, Moreno has a propensity for frustrating opposing defenses.
The Union vs. themselves: Philadelphia have three red cards in only seven games and goalkeeper Chris Seitz and the defense have given up some soft goals. The Union can’t afford to gift a weak goal or give up a man advantage and expect to get points against the Dynamo in the heat and humidity of the Houston summer.
Stat That Makes You Go “Hmm”
Ten different Dynamo players have scored goals this year with midfielders scoring nine of the team’s fourteen goals and two forwards (Landín and Oduro) have six of the team’s eighteen assists.
He said it
“They are tough and physical. They have had some bad luck. They have good players and they are faces that we know. In the end, [Peter] Nowak has them working hard which will prove successful. Their season hasn’t gone great, but they’ve only played seven games, so I think it will be a hard game for us.” – Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear