Houston Dynamo FC will play their first match at the recently renovated Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday, March 18 against Austin FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT and the first fans to enter the venue will receive a stadium replica, courtesy of Shell Energy. Tickets for the match are available on HoustonDynamoFC.com.
The Dynamo return to league play after a bye week and closing a two-game road trip on March 4 in Massachusetts. The Dynamo were held scoreless in the loss to the New England Revolution and look for their first points of the season. Houston enters Saturday’s match with a 9-2-6 record in home openers.
The Dynamo won the possession battle for the second consecutive game but were limited to one big chance against the Revolution. Houston will look to capitalize on their time with the ball as they face an Austin team that will play their fourth game in a two-week stretch due to their participation in the Concacaf Champions League.
Through two games the Dynamo have generated 28 shots and nearly 43 percent of those efforts were on target. That mark is tied for the fourth best in the league according to FBRef.com. The team will look to cement more of those opportunities in the final third. A good portion finished with forward Ivan Franco. The Paraguayan playmaker finished with the highest xG mark in both games, forcing three saves in his Dynamo debut against FC Cincinnati on Feb. 25.
Saturday’s match will be the first of three against their in-state rival and the first of two at Shell Energy Stadium this season. Houston searches for their second victory in the all-time series and they claimed all three points in the first meeting between both teams in the Bayou City, a 3-0 triumph for the Dynamo on Sept. 11, 2021.The visitors have claimed three consecutive victories since then, including a 2-1 victory, in the lone meeting in Houston last year.
Austin FC have split the first two games of this four-game stretch following a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake last Saturday. That was their first road victory of the season and three much needed points after losing the opening match of the Round of 16 series with Violette AC. Austin claimed the victory in the return leg against Violette AC but was eliminated due to the aggregate score.
The Dynamo close the two-game homestand on March 25 when they host New York City FC. The Houston Dash will open the 2023 NWSL regular season the following evening when they host Racing Louisville.