Houston Dynamo FC

MATCH PREVIEW: Houston Dynamo FC host LAFC in rematch of 2023 Western Conference Final 

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HOUSTON (July 6, 2024) – In a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Final, Houston Dynamo FC hosts Western Conference leaders, LAFC, on Sunday, July 7, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT at Shell Energy Stadium.

Houston enters Sunday’s match seventh in the Western Conference with an 8-7-6 (WLD) record and 30 points. The Dynamo have only lost once in their last seven matches, while finding the back of the net 16 times during that stretch.

The Dynamo are coming off a hard fought 3-2 road loss to Real Salt Lake, who currently sit second in the Western Conference. Forward Aliyu Ibrahim opened scoring with a goal in the eighth minute for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Houston then tied the match at two goals apiece in the 54th minute when captain Héctor Herrera’s cross deflected into the goal off a Salt Lake defender. However, a 67th minute goal from Braian Ojeda sent Houston home empty handed.

The Dynamo continue to boast one of the best defensive records so far this season, even with a shuffling back line that has seen seven players start due to injuries. The team has allowed 26 goals this season, which is tied for the third fewest in the Western Conference, Houston leads the Western Conference with 57.9 percent possession across the season, allowing the Dynamo to control matches and dictate pace of play.

Houston will look to bounce back from Wednesday’s result with a victory over LAFC, who currently lead the Western Conference with a 13-4-4 (WLD) record and 43 points.

Last season, the Dynamo played LAFC to a 2-1-0 (WLD) record between the regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs. In mid-June last season, Houston defeated Los Angeles in back-to-back matches, winning 4-0 at home on June 10 before winning 1-0 on the road four days later. Ultimately, LAFC defeated the Dynamo 2-0 in the Western Conference Final in early December.

Coming into Sunday’s match, LAFC are currently in the midst of a club-record 12-match unbeaten streak. They most recently defeated in-state rivals LA Galaxy 2-1 in the latest edition of El Tráfico on July 4 in front of 70,076 Fans at Rose Bowl Stadium. Kei Kamara and Denis Bouanga each scored late in the first half for LAFC.

The Dynamo have two former LAFC players on their roster, including midfielder Latif Blessing, who spent 2018-22 with the club and won the 2022 MLS Cup. Defender Franco Escobar also helped LAFC win the 2022 MLS Cup, but he will be suspended on Sunday due to yellow card accumulation.

Notably, earlier this week, Dynamo captain Héctor Herrera was named to the roster for the 2024 Major League Soccer All-Star Game. The midfielder is one of two players selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, alongside Columbus Crew’s Darlington Nagbe. This will be Herrera’s second consecutive All-Star Game appearance after representing Houston in last year’s match versus Premier League side Arsenal FC. The MLS All-Stars will face a team of All-Stars from LIGA MX on July 24 in Columbus, Ohio. Dynamo fans can watch the game on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

Additionally, on Wednesday, the Dynamo hosted forward Ezequiel Ponce’s introductory press conference. Houston signed the 27-year-old Argentinian from AEK Athen in Greece on a club-record transfer fee last month. Ponce will occupy a Designated Player spot and joins the Dynamo on a full transfer through June 2027 with club options through December 2027 and 2028. Ponce will first be eligible to play in Houston’s July 20 match at Vancouver Whitecaps FC once the MLS Secondary Transfer Window opens.

The Dynamo next host Minnesota United FC on Saturday, July 13, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. Houston will celebrate 713 H-Town Night, and tickets for that match are available HERE.