Houston Dynamo FC are currently outside the Western Conference playoff picture, but Paolo Nagamura’s team is loaded with talent even if it struggles for consistency.
Last weekend, Houston fell to a disappointing 2-1 loss to Minnesota United, failing to build on their big 3-1 win the week before against the Galaxy. Dynamo took 11 shots in the box but only put four on frame. Meanwhile, their transition defense fell apart twice as United snuck away with three points.
For Dynamo, as goes Sebastian Ferreira, so goes the attack. So with their DP striker on the bench, the Texas side struggled to finish even as they controlled possession against Minnesota. Ferreira is a striker and facilitator surrounded by direct but fairly unversatile attackers. Unlocking his full potential likely requires more opportunities to link up with newly-signed Hector Herrera but the Mexico international carries a heavy defensive burden right now.
Darwin Ceren is the only true destroyer midfielder on the Houston roster, but his limited use in attack often means Adalberto Carrasquilla, Memo Rodriguez, and Matias Vera are preferred. How that trio fits around Herrera will likely determine how Houston is able to handle a team like Philly that thrives against disorganized midfields.
Next Home Game
Philadelphia Union wrap up July at Subaru Park with Kids Night presented by Green Mountain Energy on Saturday, July 30th, as the Boys in Blue battle the Houston Dynamo.
The Union will get Ale Bedoya back for this match but will lose Jose Martinez to yellow card accumulation. Last time Martinez was out, Jim Curtin turned to Jack McGlynn and the young midfielder answered with a strong performance that saw him return to the lineup when Bedoya was suspended. It’s unlikely McGlynn will lose his spot given his unique skillset on the Union roster, and Curtin will rely on the Homegrown to split lines in Houston’s defense if the visitors sit back.
Curtin could shift McGlynn to the left side of his diamond and move Leon Flach into a holding role, but he may return to a 4-2-3-1 shape to give McGlynn a defensive partner at the base of midfield. That would leave a winger spot open for one of Mikael Uhre, Paxten Aaronson, Chris Donovan, or Quinn Sullivan as Julian Carranza is currently the preferred man at the tip of the spear.
Union fans will also get to see the return of fan-favorite winger Fafa Picault. The speedy attacker scored last weekend against Minnesota and could look to trouble Kai Wagner if the Union fullback gets too high upfield.
No matter what Houston throws at Philly, the landscape of this match will be clear: The Union are the favorites but they will need to break down an opponent that is desperate for road points to pull them back toward the playoff picture. Converting losses into draws on the road will be a crucial part of any late season surge Dynamo makes in the west.
The Union face off against Houston on July 30 at Subaru Park and tickets are available by clicking here. Kids Night activities will be going on so don't miss out on all the extra Subaru Plaza fun.