Houston Dynamo FC close a two-game homestand at Shell Energy Stadium on Wednesday when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The team travels to the Midwest this weekend to face Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening.
Houston enters Wednesday’s match after playing St. Louis CITY SC, the Western Conference’s top team, to a 1-1 draw at Shell Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. The Dynamo took the lead in the 42nd minute following a four-pass sequence inside the box that finished with forward Amine Bassi chipping the ball toward the far post. Forward Corey Baird was well positioned to head the ball for his team-leading 12thgoal in all competitions this year. The equalizer came in the 87th minute after goalkeeper Steve Clark made a diving save at the near post to deny Tomás Ostrák’s strong shot from inside the box. The ball fell to João Klauss, who was in position to head the ball into the open net.
Houston is now undefeated in its last six league matches since July 15, reaching that milestone for the first time since September 2020. The Dynamo currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference standings. This is the first time since the 2017 season that the Dynamo have occupied a playoff spot this late into the season. Including Wednesday’s match, six games remain in the regular season for the Dynamo. Half of those matches will be played at home where Houston has posted a 13-3-4 record in all competitions this year.
Vancouver enters Wednesday’s match just one point ahead of Houston, holding fourth place in the Western Conference. The Whitecaps most recent result saw them defeat Canadian rivals Toronto FC 2-1 on the road. The comeback win was completed after goals from Tristan Blackmon and Brian White.
Wednesday will mark the 23rd meeting between the two sides, and Houston holds a 7-1-2 (WLD) record over Vancouver at Shell Energy Stadium. The Whitecaps are currently undefeated in their last five away matches and have posted five road wins since June 24.
The Dynamo close the week in the Kansas City when they face Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park at 7:30 p.m. CT. The team then travels to South Florida to take on Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday, Sept. 27.
Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s match:
- COREY EYES MILESTONE: Forward Corey Baird has found his confidence in front of the net, scoring four goals in Houston’s last five league matches. The 27-year-old is now one goal away from tying his season career-high of eight goals during his rookie season, while totaling a team-leading 12 goals in all competitions this year. As a team in the last six matches, the Dynamo have outscored opponents 14-2 in all competitions since competitive play restarted after Leagues Cup on Aug. 20.
- COMPLEMENTARY CAPTAINS: Captains Héctor Herrera and Steve Clark have led the way on both ends of the pitch this season. Herrera’s 13 assists are tied for the second most in league play. The midfielder recently joined Mexico for two international friendlies, starting and playing 77 minutes in El Tri’s 2-2 draw versus Australia. On the defensive end, Clark is tied for the most clean sheets in league play, as the veteran goalkeeper has totaled 66 saves through 27 games this season. St. Louis’ late equalizer in last Saturday’s match ended Houston’s streak of 540 minutes without conceding a goal, the second-longest streak in club history (longest: 727 minutes between June and July in 2007). Both leaders will look to deliver key performances in this stretch as the team navigates back-to-back matches versus opponents near or above the Western Conference playoff line.
- ROTATION REFILL: As regular starters midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla and defender Franco Escobar will miss Wednesday match due to yellow card accumulation suspensions, Houston will have to rely on its depth to secure a positive result versus Vancouver. The Dynamo are no stranger to mixing up the lineup when necessary, utilizing 21 different staring XI’s in MLS play this season. Wednesday’s suspensions provide opportunities for players on the edge of the starting lineups to earn additional minutes in the middle of the pitch and along the back line.