FC Dallas-Dynamo Preview

National Sports

Houston Dynamo FC head coach Tab Ramos continues to support his team during their 13-game winless run, imploring for a slice of fortune ahead of their clash with FC Dallas.

The Dynamo have not won since May 22, slumping to 12th in the Western Conference.

Anderson Julio’s late winner for Real Salt Lake was enough to inflict a 2-1 defeat last time out, though lately, slow starts have been more of an issue – conceding inside the first 15 minutes in each of their last four.

“I don’t know what it is,” Ramos explained after defeat to Salt Lake. “We just, it seems like we need the one break that’s going to get us over the hump here and we just can’t get it and it’s been a long time.

“So, you know, it’s not excuses. But at the moment, the ball’s not going in the goal, and, you know, I honestly, I feel bad for the players because they deserve to win.

“I couldn’t possibly sit here and not give our players credit because I thought our players played great.”

Dallas had embarked on a four-game unbeaten run but have now lost their last two games, with Seattle Sounders stealing a 1-0 victory last game.

“We knew Seattle would rotate their team,” said head coach Luchi Gonzalez. “We could not take advantage of that.”

“For me, we were relaxed. We came up short.”

Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer echoed his coach’s sentiments adding: “(We) can’t drop six points at home. Hopefully we can play with that anger on the upcoming games.”

The visitors have not won in Houston since 2016, though they can take confidence from the fact they are unbeaten in their last two away games in MLS after losing seven of nine such fixtures this term.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo – Fafa Picault

Fafa Picault collected his fifth goal of the season against Salt Lake and only Maximiliano Urruti (six) has scored more. The 30-year-old will be keen to tie level with Urruti against Dallas.

FC Dallas – Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi is due a goal soon, having gone five games without striking. If he can find the net, expect goals to flood in – Pepi securing a hat-trick in late July against LA Galaxy with his previous tally.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·The Dynamo won their last home match against FC Dallas, 2-0, in October 2020. Houston hasn’t won consecutive home matches over their in-state rivals since winning the first five games between the teams in Houston from 2006 to 2007 (including playoffs).

·Houston’s club record winless run extended to 13 matches (D7 L6) with a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. It’s the longest run without a win for any team this MLS season, surpassing Atlanta’s 12-match run from May to August.

·FC Dallas has collected four points from its last two away matches after losing its first seven on the road this season. Dallas hasn’t gone three straight away matches without defeat since May 2018 (W2 D1).

·Fafa Picault’s goal for Houston on Wednesday was just the second headed goal for the Dynamo this season. Only Dallas and LAFC (1 each) have scored fewer headed goals in MLS in 2021.

·FC Dallas has been shown an MLS-high 51 yellow cards this season, though Dallas is one of eight teams that has not had a player sent off this season.

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