[18th-Apr-15] Match Preview: DC United – Houston Dynamo
DC will be without midfield pair Collin Martin and Markus Halsti, the former of which is out 4-6 weeks after having surgery. Defensman Steve Birnbaum is also out while forward Eddie Johnson is expected to miss the game as well. Midfielder Nick DeLeon is a game-time decision after missing last week’s match against the New York Red Bulls but joining the team for training in the mid-week. Houston’s Raul Rodriguez is doubtful as he recovers from a concussion while midfielder Boniek Garcia’s status is also in doubt following a knee injury.
DC United were pegged back twice last weekend against the New York Red Bulls, but the draw still kept the capital area side at the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the Red Bulls' 2-0 win against Colorado on Friday. Houston come into the game in the last playoff spot despite it being early days. Their 8 points in 6 games suggests improvement upon last season's disappointing campaign, but it also is an indication more improvement is needed.
Prior to last weekend's 3-0 win against Montreal, Houston only managed 2 goals in their opening 5 games before running the tally to 5 for the season so far. Houston lost the last meeting between the 2 sides in Houston, but prior to that the Dynamo has won 10 of their opening 11 meetings in both league and cup with only 1 draw. The loss for Houston at RFK Stadium last May was their first in eight matches, with Houston having won 6 them.
Since DC lost to the New York Red Bulls on the 22nd of last month, United have 2 wins and a draw. The loss to New York remains their only one on the season, and DC will reclaim the top spot in the East with a win over Houston on Satruday.
Prediction: DC are a good side and Houston will have trouble with them.