Thursday, January 26, 2023
Eagle Eye Sports Monitor

THREE POINTS: Houston Dynamo begin two-game road trip in Austin

Dynamo have two clean sheets in last three games


Dynamo forward Fafa Picault will be eligible to play on Wednesday after missing Saturday’s game due to yellow card accumulation


HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo FC begin a two-game road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Q2 Stadium for the first regular season meeting with Austin FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and fans can watch the match live on QuestTexas ch. 55 in English and TeleXitos ch. 47.2 in Spanish.


Houston enters Wednesday’s game ninth in the Western Conference and a victory would snap a nine-game winless streak that was extended on Saturday after a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake at BBVA Stadium. Four Dynamo players returned to BBVA Stadium after representing their country at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.


Midfielder Darwin Ceren earned his second start of the season and forward Tyler Pasher came off the bench for the final push in the second half. They Dynamo also welcomed forward Corey Baird on Saturday hours after arriving in Texas. The 25-year-old forward was traded to the Dynamo on Friday morning from LAFC. Dynamo forward Fafa Picault missed Saturday’s game due to yellow card accumulation and will be eligible for Wednesday’s game in Austin.


This is the first meeting between Houston and Austin in the regular season. Both teams met in the preseason as part of the La Copita preseason tournament. Picault scored a brace in the preseason meeting and Maxi Urruti also found the back of the net in the preseason tournament opener.


Austin enter Wednesday’s game with three consecutive losses in league play and have not scored a goal since their 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on July 1. Austin has only scored 10 goals this season, the fewest in MLS. The expansion side has only won one game at Q2 Stadium this season and enter Wednesday’s game with a 1-3-2 record at home.


The Dynamo travel to Allianz Field on Saturday to face Minnesota United at 7 p.m. CT. Fans can watch the match live on QuestTexas ch. 55 in English and TeleXitos ch. 47.2 in Spanish. Houston returns to BBVA Stadium on Aug. 14 to host the Colorado Rapids.


Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s game:


  1. PASHER AND BAIRD OFFER SPARK: Tyler Pasher and Corey Baird joined the Dynamo on Saturday without sharing a single minute on the training pitch. Pasher returned to the Dynamo after competing with Canada in the Concacaf Gold Cup and reaching the semifinals. Baird was traded to Houston on Friday morning and arrived overnight prior to Saturday’s match. The duo entered the game in the 62nd minute and finished with three chances created and Baird finished with two shots on goal. The duo will be key to Houston’s offensive success as the team manages limited options in the attacking third. Dynamo forward Fafa Picault will join the duo on Wednesday after missing Saturday’s game due to yellow card accumulation. Picault has scored two goals this season, tallied three assists and has created 10 chances this season.


  1. DYNAMO BACKLINE LIMITS OPPOSITION: The Dynamo have earned two clean sheets in their last three games and opponents have not scored a goal from open play against Houston since July 7. Houston conceded an own goal on July 24 in San Jose and that is the only blemish for the Dynamo since returning from the international break. The addition of Sam Junqua and Teenage Hadebe have added a new dynamic to the back four which has limited opponents to six shots on target in the three-game stretch. Houston will look to limit an Austin side that has faced challenge finding the back of the net this season. The expansion side has scored 10 goals in 15 games this season.


3.      AUSTIN IN NEED OF GOALS AND POINTS: Austin FC enter Wednesday’s game at the bottom of the Western Conference and tied for the fewest points earned this season. A playoff spot is still within reach for Austin who only sit seven points from Real Salt Lake. The expansion side looks to snap a three-game losing streak where they have been outscored 4-0. Austin recently signed Sebastián Driussi as a Designated Player and will look to the 25-year-old to find his footing with Cecilio Domínguez and fellow Argentine Tomás Pochettino. Austin last scored a goal in league play on July 1 in a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. Austin also scored in a friendly with Tigres UANL on July 13.

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