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Houston Dynamo 2 is back on the road after last week’s 1-0 home victory over Tacoma Defiance. The team is traveling to Northern California’s PayPal Park to take on Earthquakes II on Friday, July 1 at 9:30 p.m. CT.

This is the second matchup of the season between these two teams, with the first coming as the opening game in MLS NEXT Pro history. In that debut performance, Dynamo 2 came out victorious, with the only goal in the match coming from forward Papa N’Doye in the seventh minute.

During last weekend’s Dynamo 2 match against Tacoma, both teams put in a closely fought defensive battle. The teams found themselves level with just two minutes left to go in regular time.

However, midfielder Juan Castilla earned a free kick from just outside of the 18-yard box. Fellow Dynamo Academy alum Marcelo Palomino lined up and took a bouncing shot that beat the Tacoma goalkeeper at the far post to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

Dynamo 2 held on through a lengthy period of additional time to snap a three-game losing streak and extend the team’s dominance at AVEVA Stadium, as Houston improved to 4-0-0 at that venue.

Additionally, the team moved back into playoff position after briefly finding itself on the outside looking in. Dynamo 2 currently sits tied for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 25 points and a game in hand over Whitecaps FC 2.

Houston goalkeeper* Andrew Pannenberg *also played a crucial role in the closely fought contest, as he finished with his first clean sheet of the season. The Dynamo backline limited Tacoma to five shots and one shot on target that was saved by Pannenberg in the 24th minute.

After this week’s match, Dynamo 2 will be back at AVEVA Stadium to take on Real Monarchs on Sunday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. CT.

  1. SEASON BEST EXPECTED GOALS AGAINST: Houston’s defense came up big in last week’s 1-0 victory over Tacoma. With the offense unable to find the goal until the last minute of regulation time, the backline proved its mettle by completely silencing the Defiance’s attack. During the game, Dynamo 2 held Tacoma to just 0.15 expected Goals Against, five total shots and one shot on target. Both opponent shooting numbers tied previously standing season lows for Houston, while the team shattered its previous best xGA mark (0.51). If Houston is going to win its second straight game this weekend, expect a standout performance on the defensive end.
  2. STELLAR GOAL DIFFERENTIAL: In the beginning of the season, it looked like there was a chance Dynamo 2 would run away with the best record in the league, as the team got off to a blazing 5-0-0 start. Since then, the team has settled back in terms of record, sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with a record of 8-4-1. Despite this record, underlying metrics still show that Houston is one of, if not the most competitive team in the league. The team’s goal differential of plus 19 sits atop MLS NEXT Pro.
  3. MULTIPLE OPTIONS IN NET: When Dynamo 2 shutout Tacoma in last week’s match, goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg became the third Houston goalkeeper to record a clean sheet. Houston has six clean sheets on the season and has shown that no matter who is manning the net, the opposition will need to be at its very best in attack if it wants to score against this unit.