Whitecaps FC-Dynamo Preview
The Vancouver Whitecaps have an opportunity for the best start in their brief history, but they'll have to visit a stadium where so far no opponent has left victorious.
As they seek to improve to 3-0-0, the Whitecaps have the arduous task of trying to snap the Houston Dynamo's impressive home unbeaten streak Saturday night.
Vancouver has won back-to-back games for the second straight season but has yet to play on the road. The Whitecaps (2-0-0) were 3-11-4 away from home in 2012, their second MLS campaign, and went winless over their final 10 games (0-8-2) there.
A trip to Houston doesn't seem like an ideal way to end that skid, as the Dynamo are 14-0-6 in league play at BBVA Compass Stadium since it opened in May. They're also unbeaten in 26 straight MLS home games, three shy of matching the league record, and are 23-0-9 in their last 32 matches across all competitions.
"All good things must come to an end so hopefully we have the chance to end that streak," Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks said. "Of course, we respect what they've done but I think we're ready to go."
Vancouver will get the benefit of having two weeks off before making the trip that starts a three-game road stretch.
"I think we're definitely ready because we had a free week. Everybody's itching to get back out there and play a game," coach Martin Rennie said. "At some point, there going to lose at home. We have to make absolutely sure that we're prepared and ready to be the team that does that."
Rennie's club has posted two one-goal wins and topped Columbus 2-1 on March 9 as Kenny Miller broke the tie early in the second half. Miller won't play in this game as he's with the Scottish national club for World Cup qualifying.
Houston (1-1-0) missed its chance for back-to-back wins Sunday when it allowed rival FC Dallas to score in the 90th minute of a 3-2 loss.
That came after the Dynamo rallied from a 2-0 deficit on goals from Andrew Driver and Brad Davis in the final 11 minutes before stoppage time.
"We know what we have to do. We're strong at home. We've got to work hard and maybe clean things up a little bit," midfielder Adam Moffat told the team's website.
Houston, though, won't have Davis, Jermaine Taylor or Boniek Garcia for this game because all three are on international duty for the U.S., Jamaica and Honduras, respectively. The Dynamo will likely have to rely on Driver, Eric Brunner and Omar Cummings to help fill their roles.
Houston has lost two of three in the all-time series with Vancouver, and Mattocks scored twice in a 3-1 home victory June 10.
Vancouver fell 3-1 in its only other visit to Houston on April 10, 2011. The Dynamo won 2-0 over D.C. United on March 2 in their only league home game this season and beat Mexican club Santos Laguna 1-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series three days later.