Galaxy-Dynamo Preview

National Sports

LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney is hoping his team have shifted the momentum after a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers snapped a nine-game winless run.

The Galaxy won over the weekend for the first time since mid-August, getting their playoff quest back on track.

The Houston Dynamo, who sit 11th in the Western Conference, are next up for the sixth-placed Galaxy, and Vanney believes his team had deserved a change in fortunes.

“There was a confidence building, it was something that they deserved,” Vanney said. “They have deserved it, I feel, in some of the stretch and some of these other games and we didn’t get it.

“We didn’t execute how we needed to execute and so I hope that the group feels like there is a shift in momentum here that we got over the hump and now we have a real opportunity in the coming week to try and take more points and try to get ourselves into a better and better position down the stretch.”

Houston seem to be out of the playoff picture, though they will be no pushovers, coming into Wednesday’s meeting on the back of a shock 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders.It was a bittersweet victory for defender Zarek Valentin.

“You enjoy these moments, the season hasn’t gone the way a lot of us had planned. And days like today just remind of us how frustrating that can be, because we can put together performances against arguably the best team in the league, by far the best in the West, like we did,” he said.

“It reminds us of how good we are but also it reminds us of how many points and situations we’ve lost that have put us in a bad situation. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo – Darwin Quintero

Darwin Quintero has scored three of Houston’s last five goals, including a strike against Seattle on Saturday.

LA Galaxy – Javier Hernandez

Galaxy talisman Javier Hernandez took his tally for the season to 13 goals when he opened the scoring against Portland. He had five shots in the game, with three landing on target.

KEY OPTA FACTS

●Sacha Kljestan’s 92nd minute penalty to beat Portland on Saturday was the first stoppage time match-winning penalty for the Galaxy since Robbie Keane scored from the spot to beat Columbus, 2-1, in July 2013.

●Quintero had not scored any of the Dynamo’s previous 35 goals dating back to October 2020 (including own goals).

●The last three meetings between the Dynamo and Galaxy have all ended in 1-1 draws. Houston has lost only one of its last nine meetings with the Galaxy (W3 D5), a 2-1 away defeat in April 2019.

●The Dynamo ended a three-match winless run with a 2-1 victory over Seattle on Saturday. Houston hasn’t won consecutive matches since a three-match streak in August-September 2020.

●The Galaxy ended a nine-match winless run (D4 L5) with a 2-1 victory over Portland on Saturday. In order to record consecutive wins, however, the Galaxy will have to end a nine-match winless streak in Texas that includes defeats at Dallas and Austin already this season (D2 L7).

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