Houston Dynamo FC begin the week with a road trip to Utah on Wednesday to face Real Salt Lake at 9 p.m. CT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Houston looks to bounce back after falling to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday, their first loss at BBVA Stadium this season. Midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla earned his first MLS start and his second consecutive appearance since signing with the club on loan on Aug. 6. Forward Maxi Urruti and Ari Lassiter also returned to action and the midfield will have additional depth on Saturday with the return of Darwin Ceren.
The Dynamo and Salt Lake have split the points in the previous two meetings, beginning with the 1-1 draw on June 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Justen Glad gave Salt Lake an early lead, but Houston responded in the opening minutes of the second half after Urruti tallied his sixth goal of the season. The Dynamo hold a slight edge over Utah in the all-time series with a 12-11-9 record.
Salt Lake enter Wednesday’s game with two victories in their last three outings at home. Bobby Wood led the team to a 1-0 victory over Austin FC on Saturday with his second goal of the season. The Dynamo backline will be tasked with containing midfielder Damir Kreilach who has scored eight goals and has tallied five assists this season. The attacking duo of Rubio Rubin and Albert Rusnak have combined for nine goals and seven assists.
Houston returns to BBVA Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 21 to host FC Dallas.
Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s game:
- DYNAMO TRAVEL WEST PRIOR TO HOMESTAND: The Dynamo look to build momentum prior to hosting their in-state rival, FC Dallas, on Saturday. Wednesday’s game is the final road game of the month and the final hurdle prior to a four-game homestand. Houston will look to capitalize on their longest homestand of the year and earn key points to climb back into the playoff race. The Dynamo currently sit five points behind the Timbers in the seventh and final playoff spot. The homestand will begin with FC Dallas on Saturday and feature matchups against two direct rivals for the postseason, Minnesota United and the Timbers. The homestand ends with Austin’s first visit to BBVA Stadium on Sept. 11
- COCO KEY IN MIDFIELD: Dynamo midfielder Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla earned his first start with the club last Saturday and the 22-year-old seemingly solidified a starting role after leading the team with 12 recoveries. Coco also led the midfield with three interceptions and finished with one key pass. The Panamanian midfielder earned his debut on the road and looks to lead the team to their first victory away from BBVA Stadium on Wednesday.
- SALT LAKE FINDS FORM AT HOME: Salt Lake enter Wednesday’s game with back-to-back victories in their last two outings at Rio Tinto Stadium. Salt Lake has outscored their opponents 4-0 in that run, largely due to a 3-0 victory over the Rapids on July 24.