Michael Nelson says the Houston Dynamo have full belief in their approach as they look to end the regular season on a high, while his Vancouver Whitecaps counterpart was able to reflect on a standout display.
Nelson and his Houston team-mates went down 2-0 to Minnesota United last time, while Maxime Crepeau saved a penalty and put in a brilliant display in Vancouver’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas.
Now, Nelson and Crepeau go head-to-head on Wednesday in Texas, with the visitors well in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Dynamo sit seven points back, but Nelson says the players have full confidence of getting on a winning run.
“We train extremely hard, we all have each others’ backs,” he said.
“Obviously it’s frustrating when you don’t get results but when you go back and look at this game I think there’s a lot of positives that can be taken from it.
“We know we’ve got the talent, the ability and the desire to get good results, there’s absolutely still faith in the locker room that that can be accomplished. We can play (against) anybody, we know that, we all believe that, so whoever our opponent may be, we’ll be ready for them.”
Crepeau made seven saves in total against Dallas, and said of his penalty stop: “It was about time, I’ve conceded about 10, 15 penalties (across my career).
“I’m happy that with this save at the end we can collect the three points. It’s an important moment in our season.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Houston Dynamo – Maximiliano Urruti
Maximiliano Urruti has scored seven goals in 18 matches against Vancouver in his MLS career, doing so with four different teams (Portland Timbers, Dallas, CF Montreal, and Houston).
Vancouver Whitecaps – Ryan Gauld
Ryan Gauld created eight chances in the Whitecaps’ win over Dallas on Saturday, tied for the second-most by a Vancouver player in the team’s MLS history (Pedro Morales – nine vs Portland in June 2014).
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Gauld’s tally of chances was the most in a single game by a Whitecaps player since Mauro Rosales had eight against Sporting Kansas City in July 2015.
– The Dynamo have won six of their eight home matches against Vancouver in MLS, including a 2-1 victory on May 22.
– Vancouver’s only win at BBVA Compass Stadium was a 2-1 victory in March 2018.
– The Dynamo have won their last two home matches, scoring three goals in each victory. Houston had not scored more than two goals in any of its previous 18 home matches dating back to September 2020.
– Vancouver is unbeaten in a club-record seven straight away matches (W1 D6) after never going more than four in a row on the road without a loss. The Whitecaps had lost nine of their previous 10 away from home before this run (D1).