Houston Dynamo FC close a two-game road trip in British Columbia on Friday as they face Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CT and the match will air live in English on AT&T SportsNet Southwest and in Spanish on TeleXitos 47.2.
Houston looks to split the road trip after they fell to the Philadelphia Union last Saturday. Houston was held scoreless for the first time since a 3-0 loss in Utah against Real Salt Lake at the end of May. Houston was held scoreless for the seventh time this season on Saturday and after each of the last four shutouts the Dynamo have gone on to score in the following game.
Houston has won two of the last three games that followed a match where they were held scoreless. Houston was held scoreless in Washington D.C. on May 7 and responded with 2-0 victory seven days later over Nashville SC. Houston responded to a 1-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at home on May 18 with a 3-0 victory on the road over the LA Galaxy on May 22.
The Dynamo offense will look to forwards Fafa Picault, Thor Ulfarsson and Sebas Ferreira for pristine finishing in the final third on Friday. The trio have scored seven of the last 11 goals scored by the team.
This is the second meeting of the season and Houston looks to claim the season series after earning a 2-1 victory over the ‘Caps on March 12. Darwin Quintero finished with a brace following service from Ferreira, Coco Carrasquilla and Corey Baird. Houston claimed the series in 2021 with a 1-0-2 record. Friday’s match will be the first match at BC Place since the 2019 season. Houston played Vancouver at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Utah in 2021, their lone meeting away from PNC Stadium.
The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 13 to host Club de Foot Montreal for 713 Night.
Here are three key points ahead of Friday’s game:
- SEASON ENTERS FINAL THIRD: Three points on Friday would give Houston a chance to finish in the top 10 for the first time since June 29. The Dynamo currently sit seven points behind Nashville for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 11 matches to play this season. Vancouver enters with a slight two-point edge over the Dynamo but a victory for Houston plus a triumph from Minnesota United FC over the Colorado Rapids would secure a top-10 finish after Week 24. The Dynamo will face both the Rapids and Minnesota in the next two weeks and close the month against LAFC on Aug. 31.
- DYNAMO SHUFFLE MIDFIELD: The Dynamo will explore a new midfield trio for the first time since July 12 due to the yellow card Matias Vera received on Saturday against the Union. That was Vera’s fifth yellow card of the season and he will miss his first league game since the 3-0 victory over the Galaxy on May 22. Houston has often gone to the captain of La Selecta in Darwin Ceren to fill the void later in games or during a congested stretch of the season. Ceren has played in 19 games this season with nine starts. Ceren finished with three recoveries and led the team with the highest percentage of completed passes (94 percent) in his last start on July 12 against Austin FC. Ethan Bartlow has also seen time as a defensive midfielder this season. The 2021 Generation adidas product last patrolled the midfield on June 18 on the road against Orlando City SC. He finished with two interceptions and four clearances against the Lions.
- WHITECAPS RETURN TO BC PLACE: The Whitecaps return to BC Place after a 1-1 draw with Nashville on Sunday in GEODIS Park. Vancouver has split their last two games at BC Place, they lost to the Chicago Fire 3-1 on July 23 and three days later the team would go on to defeat Toronto FC 5-3 in a penalty kick shootout to claim the Canadian Championship. The ‘Caps enter Friday’s game with a 5-3-3 record at home, but only two victories in their last five outings in league play at home. Vancouver’s last victory at home was a 1-0 triumph over LAFC on July 2. The team has gone on to post a 1-0-2 record in all competitions since then.