Dynamo-FC Dallas Preview
After a disappointing performance outside of MLS play, the Houston Dynamo will try to lift their spirits by adding to their recent success against their in-state rival.
The Dynamo look to win a third straight meeting with FC Dallas on Sunday in the only matchup between the clubs this season, but Dallas will get standout Blas Perez back from suspension.
Houston missed an opportunity to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals when it was routed 3-0 by Mexican side Santos Laguna on Wednesday. The Dynamo won the first leg of that series 1-0 at home.
"I feel like we're a better team than what we showed," goalkeeper Tally Hall told the league's official website.
Houston will try to bounce back by opening 2-0-0 for the second straight MLS season.
The Dynamo are seeking to win El Capitan, the cannon given to the winner of the Texas Derby, for a third straight year. A draw and a win against FC Dallas gave them the series in 2011, and Houston won the only meeting last season 2-1 at home June 16 as Adam Moffat scored the game-winner in the 76th minute.
"It's a shame we don't get to play (Dallas) more often," forward Brian Ching said. "We've had good games with them in the past. We look forward to going up there and trying to get points."
Houston won its season opener at home, 2-0 over D.C. United on March 2. Ricardo Clark played a role in D.C.'s own goal in the 80th minute and added an insurance tally in the 89th.
The Dynamo won only two of their last 19 road games last season and are 3-3-4 all-time at Dallas, but they won 1-0 in their most recent visit Sept. 24, 2011.
FC Dallas (1-1-0) is coming off a bitter 3-1 defeat at Chivas USA last Sunday. David Ferreira scored early in the second half, but Dallas gave up three goals after the 67th minute.
"I think we're making progress, but (last week) was obviously a step in the wrong direction," coach Schellas Hyndman said. "We also did some things better than we did last week, so our goal is just to continue to get better."
Dallas beat Colorado 1-0 on March 2 to extend its home unbeaten streak to five games. Jackson scored in that game and also had Dallas' only goal in last season's loss to Houston.
The club might get an offensive boost Sunday, with Perez done serving a two-game suspension for an incident in last season's finale.
"It's going to be a big help," Hyndman said. "I think it's going to give us an opportunity to do some things we've been working on."
Perez had a team-high nine goals along with four assists in 20 games for Dallas in 2012. The Panamanian forward has never faced Houston, missing last year's meeting with an injury.