Houston Dynamo FC

Houston Dynamo FC host western conference leading Portland Timbers in return to league play


The Dynamo enter Saturday’s matchup coming off the club’s first Concacaf Champions Cup appearance since 2019 after winning the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Houston advanced to the Round of 16 after playing St. Louis CITY SC to a 2-2 aggregate draw, with Houston’s leg-one away goal serving as the tiebreaker. The Dynamo bowed out of the competition in the Round of 16 after falling to the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 aggregate score, despite a late push to advance thanks to a penalty kick conversion from defender Griffin Dorsey in the 90th minute of leg two.

Houston’s most recent MLS action came back on March 2 when the New York Red Bulls won 2-1 at Shell Energy Stadium, snapping a home unbeaten streak in MLS play that stretched back to July 2023, a string of nine matches under head coach Ben Olsen.

The Dynamo are the only team in the United States to compete for four trophies this season – MLS Cup, Champions Cup, Leagues Cup and U.S. Open Cup.

Portland enters Saturday’s match at the top of the Western Conference with seven points, most recently earning a 2-1 road victory over New York City FC thanks to goals from forward Antony and midfielder Evander. The Timbers entered this season with a new coaching staff at the helm, led by former Inter Miami CF manager Phil Neville.

The Dynamo dominated the Timbers last season, defeating Portland 8-1 over the course of two matches. Houston defeated Portland 5-0 in August at Shell Energy Stadium before defeating the Timbers 3-1 on Decision Day to secure their fourth-place finish in the conference and set up a run to the Western Conference Final.

In all-time regular season matchups, Portland holds a 10-7-7 (WLD) record over the Dynamo since the Timbers joined the league in 2011, but five of Houston’s seven victories have come at Shell Energy Stadium. 

Earlier this week, the Dynamo announced the arrival of midfielder Latif Blessing in a GAM trade with Toronto FC. The 27-year-old is an MLS veteran, currently in his eighth season in the United States’ top league. The Ghanian has amassed 190 regular season appearances (137 starts), five postseason matches and spent time with Sporting Kansas City (2017), LAFC (2018-22), the New England Revolution (2023) and Toronto FC (2023-24). Blessing has tallied 17 goals and 25 assists during his MLS career. Blessing spent the bulk of his career with LAFC after being selected in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft, helping Los Angeles win the Supporters’ Shield in 2019 and 2022 and the MLS Cup in 2022 during his final season with the club. The midfielder started his MLS career with Kansas City, winning the 2017 U.S. Open Cup.

The Dynamo will also recognize a career milestone for goalkeeper Steve Clark, who recently made his 250th MLS career start when Houston hosted the New York Red Bulls on March 2. Before joining the Dynamo, Clark spent four seasons with the Timbers from 2018-21, making 74 starts and leading Portland to the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament title and the 2021 MLS Cup Final.

Following Saturday’s match, the Dynamo travel to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, March 23, with kickoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT for their first road test of the MLS season.