NEED TO KNOW:
Dynamo FW Fafa Picault has scored six goals in last seven games
Picault has scored two goals against FC Dallas this season
Houston enters Saturday’s game with a 9-4-8 (WLD) record against FC Dallas at home
HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo FC host FC Dallas in the third and final meeting of the regular season on Saturday at BBVA Stadium. Houston and Dallas have split the previous two meetings with back-to-back draws and Houston looks to earn their second victory of the week after defeating their newest in-state rival, Austin FC, 3-0 last Saturday.
Houston returned from Carson, Calif. with a point after a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. Forward Fafa Picault gave Houston an early lead with his ninth goal of the season in the 13th minute of the match. Picault needs to score one more goal to match his regular season record for the most goals scored in a single season (10). The forward reached the double-digit mark with the Philadelphia Union in 2018.
Katy native Michael Nelson was key to Houston’s performance on Wednesday and finished with three saves, a new personal best and the goalkeeper earned MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors for his performance. Nelson has five saves since last Saturday and will aim for his second clean sheet of the week after earning a shutout against Austin FC last Saturday.
FC Dallas traveled east on Wednesday to earn a 3-3 draw with New York City FC at Red Bull Arena. Jader Obrian finished with a brace and Jesus Ferreiraa also found the back of the net on Wednesday. The bulk of Dallas’ offense runs through Ricardo Pepi, who leads the team with 12 goals and two assists this season. The forward scored a key goal in the previous meeting between both teams to split the points with a 2-2 draw at BBVA Stadium on Aug. 21
The Dynamo will return to the road next Saturday for the third and final meeting with Minnesota United. Houston fell to Minnesota in the first meeting at Allianz Field and will look to split the series on the road.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s game:
FAFA PICAULT OWNS TEXAS TEAMS IN 2021: Dynamo forward Fafa Picault has scored five of his nine goals this season against FC Dallas and Austin FC. The forward has scored in all four meetings against Houston’s in-state rivals this season and will look to keep that streak alive on Saturday against his former club. The forward enters Saturday’s game with six goals in his last seven games and one goal shy of reaching his regular season record for most goals in a single season. The forward reached the double-digit tally with the Philadelphia Union in 2018 with a brace against Minnesota United on Oct. 6, 2018. The forward would be the seventh player in club history to reach the milestone with the club and the first since Mauro Manotas scored 13 goals in 2019.
NELSON KEY TO WEDNESDAY’S DRAW IN CARSON: Dynamo goalkeeper Michael Nelson earned MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week Honors for his performance against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. The Katy native finished with three saves and a share of the points on the road against an LA Galaxy team that has scored 37 goals this season, tied for the third highest mark in the Western Conference. Nelson made his MLS debut on Aug. 28 at BBVA Stadium against Minnesota and has now started in four consecutive matches.
DALLAS IN NEED OF POINTS: FC Dallas enters Saturday’s match with three consecutive draws and the north Texas side has only won two matches since Aug. 7, both against MLS expansion side Austin FC. Dallas will look to Ricardo Pepi for a share of the points following his international debut with the U.S. Men’s National Team and breakout season. The 18-year-old scored against the Dynamo earlier this season and enters Saturday’s game with 12 goals this season.