* Houston Dynamo FC *travel to the State Capitol on Sunday to face Austin FC in the third and final meeting of the regular season.
The Dynamo look to bounce back after falling to the LA Galaxy 3-0 on Wednesday at PNC Stadium. This was the first time Houston was held scoreless since a 0-0 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 29 at home. Dynamo defender Adam Lundkvist returned to action on Wednesday after missing four games due to a knee injury. Lundkvist came off the bench on Wednesday and logged a 45-minute shift against the Galaxy.
Houston and Austin have split the first two meetings of the season with each team winning at home. The Dynamo won the last meeting on Sept. 11 with a 3-0 triumph over their new in-state rivals. Dynamo forwards Fafa Picault and Tyler Pasher scored for Houston in their first trip to Q2 Stadium on Aug. 4, but Houston fell short and lost that match 3-2.
Picault looks to find the back of the net for the third consecutive game against Austin and for the sixth time this season against Texas MLS team. The forward has led Houston to a 2-1-2 record against their in-state rivals this season. Picault finished with a brace in his last outing against Austin on Sept. 11 and six of his 11 goals this season have come against Austin FC or FC Dallas.
The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 31 to host the Colorado Rapids for the final home match of the regular season.
Here are three key points ahead of Sunday’s game:
1. DYNAMO ENTER FINAL STRETCH: The Dynamo will close the regular season with two of their final three games on the road. Houston travels to Austin for the third and final meeting of the year on Sunday and the Dynamo look to win the season series after both teams split the previous two matches this year. The Dynamo will host the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 31 for their final match at PNC Stadium this season and three days later close the regular season on the road against Club de Foot Montreal. The regular season finale is the first and only trip to the East Coast this season and the Dynamo will look to close on a positive note after falling to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday.
2. FAFA PICAULT SCORCHES IN-STATE RIVALS: Dynamo forward Fafa Picault enters Sunday’s game with six goals against MLS Texas teams and has led Houston to a 2-1-2 record against Austin FC and FC Dallas this season. The forward has scored a goal in each game against the two in-state rivals and scored a brace in in the 3-0 victory over Austin FC on Sept. 11. Picault is the first Dynamo player and the first player to play for a Texas team to score against all MLS Texas teams after he scored in the first meeting with Austin FC on Aug. 4. The forward has scored 11 goals this season and aims to add to his new single-season record beginning on Sunday and across the final three games of the regular season.
3. AUSTIN LOOK FOR KEY POINTS IN FIRST SEASON: Austin enters Sunday’s game with the worst record in the Western Conference and only two victories in their last 10 games. Austin has been held scoreless in their last two games and return to Q2 Stadium after a midweek trip to California where the expansion side lost 4-0 to San Jose. Austin has found most of its success at home with five of their seven victories this season coming at Q2 Stadium. Austin have won two of their last three games at home and look to avoid their 20th loss of the season on Sunday.