NEED TO KNOW:
Dynamo meet Minnesota for the third and final time this season
Houston dropped the first meeting at Allianz Field and looks to split two-game series in Minnesota
Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Sept. 29 to host Vancouver Whitecaps FC
HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo FC travel to Allianz Field on Saturday to face Minnesota United for the third and final meeting of the regular season.
Houston looks to extend their unbeaten run to four games after defeating FC Dallas 3-2 on Saturday in the final leg of the Texas Derby. Forward Griffin Dorsey scored his second goal of the season and tallied an assist against Dallas. Dorsey earned MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors following his performance on Saturday. Attacker Darwin Quintero earned his third start of the season and scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot in the second half from the penalty spot.
Forward Fafa Picault scored his 10th goal of the season and matched his regular season record for most goals in a single season. Picault is the seventh player in Dynamo history to score double digit goals in a season and the first player since Mauro Manotas scored 13 goals in 2019. Picault has scored eight goals and tallied an assist in his last 10 games, beginning with a goal against Austin FC on Aug. 4 at Q2 Stadium.
Minnesota won the first two meetings of the regular season, which includes a 2-0 victory at Allianz Field earlier this season. Houston is looking for their first victory in the series since a 3-0 triumph at BBVA Stadium on Sept. 2, 2020.
The Loons defeated the LA Galaxy at home to snap a two-game losing streak. The Loons were shut out in their back-to-back losses to the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City earlier this month. A brace from Emanuel Reynoso and a goal from Ethan Finlay led the Loons to their ninth victory of the season last Saturday.
The Dynamo return to BBVA Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 29 to host Vancouver for the third and final meeting of the season. Houston defeated Vancouver 2-1 in their first meeting at BBVA Stadium on May 22.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s game:
FAFA PICAULT JOINS MANOTAS AND CHING: Dynamo forward Fafa Picault scored his 10th goal of the season in Houston’s 3-2 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday. The New York native has now scored seven goals in his last eight games and he is the seventh player in club history to reach the double-digit milestone with the club after scoring against his former club on Saturday. Picault is the first player to score 10 or more goals in a single season since Mauro Manotas scored 13 goals in 2019. Picault’s run ranks among the best in club history, matching a 10-game stretch from Manotas in 2018 and nearly reaching a 10-game run from Brian Ching in 2008 where he scored 8 goals and tallied two assists that summer.
DYNAMO FACE DIRECT RIVALS: Five of the next six games for Houston are against direct rivals for the top half of the Western Conference table. Houston will look to extend its recent positive run to claw into a tight Western Conference playoffs picture that changes week to week. Houston needs a positive result on Saturday against the Loons, who currently sit in seventh place, to inch their way up the table and make up ground on an eight-point deficit. Houston’s form on the road will be key as two of their next three games are away from BBVA Stadium, including their next nationally televised fixture on Oct. 3 against Sporting Kansas City.
MINNESOTA MAKES STATEMENT AT HOME: Minnesota rebounded with authority on Saturday after dropping back-to-back games against the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City. Seattle edged past the Loons with a 1-0 victory on Sept. 11 and Kansas City held Minnesota scoreless in their 4-0 victory at Children’s Mercy Park on Sept. 15. The Loons responded with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday with a brace from Emanuel Reynoso and a goal from Ethan Finlay.