The Houston Dynamo will look to continue their stingy defensive play at home and build on momentum against weary Los Angeles FC when they host the defending league champions on Saturday in a Western Conference match.
The Dynamo (5-7-3, 18 points) have been dynamite at home this season, garnering all five of their wins this season in going 5-1-1 while surrendering just two total goals on their own pitch.
Houston returns home after a mixed two-match road trip that saw the Dynamo lose 3-0 in St. Louis in a league match last Saturday and then beat the Chicago Fire 4-1 in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday.
"It was nice to see us have that resiliency, to get back to being tough to score on because I think we got away from that a little bit in the last two games," Houston coach Ben Olsen said after Tuesday's win. "We really looked after each other and defended the box well against a very, very potent attack. Our structure mentality and defensively was better than I saw in the last two games, and more like the team that we were when we are tough to break down."
LAFC (7-1-5, 26 points) heads to the Bayou City after splitting the points with Atlanta United in a scoreless home draw on Wednesday. LAFC has forged a four-game unbeaten streak in league play (two wins, two draws) since last losing at San Jose on May 6.
Since May 23, LAFC has also played (and lost) a U.S. Open Cup match with the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0; and two legs of the CONCACAF Champions Cup against Club Leon, 2-1 and 1-0. So it has been a period of survival over the past three weeks.
"There's frustration, of course, by not getting the three points, about not being rewarded," AFC coach Steve Cherundolo said after the Atlanta match. "Everybody in that locker room has been in that position before. I think there's no reason to panic at all. Just keep going. Keep playing in the same manner and things will take care of themselves."
--Field Level Media