Houston Dynamo FC

Houston Dynamo FC host Game 3 for place in Western Conference Semifinals


Houston Dynamo FC host Real Salt Lake at Shell Energy Stadium in Game 3 in the Round One Best-of-3 series on Saturday, Nov. 11, with kickoff scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT. The winner will secure a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Western Conference Semifinals.

Fans can once again enjoy “Beers on Ben” when gates open at 3:30 p.m. CT, those who arrive early will receive a Bud Light compliments of head coach Ben Olsen as a special thank you for Houston’s support throughout the season. Additionally, upon entry to the stadium, the first 10,000 fans will receive an orange or black pom pom to paint stadium team colors throughout the match. Stadium concourse activations include an autograph session with some Houston Dynamo stars of the past, as well as photo opportunities with both of the MLS Cups and U.S. Open Cups. Pregame festivities include a flyover following the national anthem by the U.S. Coast Guard and Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell will be recognized at halftime for being named the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. For updates and additional information about Saturday’s festivities, visit HoustonDynamoFC.com.

The series is tied at one win apiece after the fourth-seeded Dynamo won 2-1 at home in Game 1 on Sunday, Oct. 29, while fifth-seeded Salt Lake took Game 2 in a penalty shootout at their house on Monday, Nov. 6.

In the most recent matchup, Dynamo forward Amine Bassi buried a rebounded penalty save after Houston earned a foul inside the box in the 26th minute for the first goal of the game. The 25-year-old became the fifth Dynamo player to score in back-to-back postseason games and the first since Omar Cummings in 2013. Salt Lake equalized in the 70th minute after being awarded a free kick, and Jefferson Savarino’s attempt found the inside of the far post. The penalty shootout was ultimately decided by the first kick after Bassi’s attempt was saved by goalkeeper Zac MacMath and every ensuing attempt for both teams was converted. 

This series marks the first postseason meeting between the two clubs, and after Monday’s result, Houston now holds a 3-1-1 (WLD) record versus Salt Lake in all competitions this year. The all-time regular season series is tied with 13 victories for each team and 11 draws.

After winning Game 1, the Dynamo now boast a 16-3-5 (WLD) record at home in all competitions this year. Houston opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla headed a ball from forward Nelson Quiñónes to captain Héctor Herrera, who controlled the ball off his chest and sent it into the net with his left foot. Salt Lake scored an equalizer in the 55th minute on a breakaway run as Anderson Julio found Diego Luna in open space. Forward Amine Bassi netted the winning goal in the 79thminute. Bassi fired a left-footed shot into the roof of the net for his first goal of the postseason.

If Houston wins the series finale on Saturday, the Dynamo will secure a berth in the Western Conference Semifinals where Houston would host Sporting Kansas City on either Nov. 25 or 26.

Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s match:    

  1. ELITE ELIMINATION: When its back is against the wall, Houston boasts a 7-1 (W-L) record in eliminations games this year. That includes six regulation victories on the way to the Club’s second Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, culminating in a 2-1 victory at Inter Miami CF in September. During this summer’s Leagues Cup, the Dynamo fell to Charlotte FC in the Round of 16, only after defeating C.F. Pachuca, the top-seeded team from Liga MX, 5-3 on penalties at Shell Energy Stadium in the Round of 32.
  2. DYNAMO DOMINATE AT HOME: After defeating Real Salt Lake in Game 1 of this series, the Dynamo now boasts a 16-3-5 (WLD) record in all competitions this year at Shell Energy Stadium. Over the course of the MLS regular season, Houston earned 11 league wins at home, tied for the most in the Western Conference with top-seeded St. Louis CITY SC, while outscoring visiting teams 36-11. Results were highlighted by a 5-0 victory over Portland (Aug. 20) and 5-1 victory versus Colorado (Oct. 7) in which the Dynamo scored four first-half goals twice in a season for the first time since 2008. 
  3. FORMIDABLE FORM: The Dynamo have only lost one match in regulation* since returning to MLS play after reaching the Round of 16 in the Leagues Cup (*tied Real Salt Lake 1-1 in regulation in Game 2 before falling 5-4 on penalties). Since Aug. 20, the team has posted a 9-1-5 (WLD) record in all competitions, including 3-1-3 (WLD) on the road, while outscoring opponents 33-11 during that stretch. Houston earned 51 points with a 14-11-9 (WLD) record over the course of a resurgent season, the most points since the Dynamo last made in the playoffs in 2017 (50 points). It also marks just the fifth time in Club history earning more than 50 points and the first time since 2013 when the Dynamo made a run to the Conference Finals.