Houston Dynamo FC travel north to Canada to face CF Montréal in a cross-conference matchup at Stade Saputo on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
The Dynamo enter Wednesday’s matchup after earning a scoreless draw versus in-state rivals FC Dallas at Shell Energy Stadium. The Dynamo earned their league-leading 13th clean sheet of the season and improved their record home record to 14-3-5 (WLD) in all competitions.
Earlier in the week, Houston hoisted the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy in South Florida. After first-half goals from defender Griffin Dorsey and forward Amine Bassi, Houston defeated Inter Miam CF 2-1 to secure its first title under owner Ted Segal, general manager Pat Onstad and head coach Ben Olsen. The victory also secured Houston’s fourth domestic title in Club history after the Dynamo won back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007, as well as the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
Houston currently sits fifth in the Western Conference standings and has the opportunity to clinch its first playoff berth since 2017 based on three different scenarios. The Dynamo boast a 6-1-3 (WLD) record since returning to MLS play after Leagues Cup on Aug. 20, outscoring opponents 21-6 during that stretch.
Montreal enters Wednesday’s match sitting in the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with 37 points, after falling 3-0 on the road to second-place Orlando City on Saturday. The Lions’ goal scorers were Facundo Torres (54’) and Dagur Dan Thórhallsson (50’), while the first (19’) was an own goal off Jonathan Sirois.
Both clubs are looking to secure their playoff position in the closing stretch of the regular season in this cross-border matchup. Houston holds a 7-8-1 (WLD) record versus Montreal in all-time MLS competitions, however, the Dynamo will be fighting for their first win at Stade Saputo on Wednesday. Houston last defeated Montreal in March 2019 2-1 at home, after goals from midfielder Memo Rodriguez and forward Mauro Manotas.
In the culmination of Fan Appreciation Week, Houston next hosts the Colorado Rapids at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The Dynamo and Rapids played to a scoreless draw in Colorado in July.
Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s match:
- PLAYOFF-CLINCHING SCENARIOS: Wednesday holds three potential scenarios where Houston Dynamo FC can clinch an Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs berth for the first time since 2017. A victory gets the Dynamo closer to the postseason and fans will keep a close eye on two matches that might impact Houston’s ability to clinch a berth. A combination of results featuring a victory for the Colorado Rapids over FC Dallas or a victory for LAFC over Minnesota United FC can send Houston to the postseason with two games left in the campaign. A full breakdown is available HERE.
- STACKING CLEAN SHEETS: Goalkeeper Steve Clark will look to break the Houston Dynamo all-time single-season clean sheet record on Wednesday after recording his 12th shutout of the season versus FC Dallas on Saturday. Clark’s previous season-high total was eight clean sheets in 2014 and 2016 with the Columbus Crew. Earlier this season, Houston went 540 minutes without conceding a goal, the second-longest streak in club history (longest: 727 minutes between June and July in 2007). The veteran shot stopper has recorded 74 saves in 30 matches this season. Houston leads MLS with 13 total clean sheets, as fellow goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell, who started every match of the Dynamo’s U.S. Open Cup campaign, helped the team earn a scoreless draw at LA Galaxy last month. Clark will look to deliver another key performance in Canada as Houston continues its push for the playoffs.
- TALLYING POINTS: Houston’s 44 points through 31 matches this season already surpasses every season total since the Dynamo last made the playoffs in 2017, when the team totaled 50 points. A large swath of those points came between July 15 (at Colorado) and Sept. 20 (vs. Vancouver) when Houston went undefeated in seven consecutive league matches (4-0-3 WLD) for the first time since August 2012. Additionally, the Dynamo boast a 6-1-3 (WLD) record since returning to MLS play after Leagues Cup on Aug. 20, outscoring opponents 21-6 during that stretch.