Match Preview: FCD at Dynamo

Still winless, Dallas face inhospitable rivals Houston

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Photo Credit: 
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

The basics: 

FC Dallas (0-1-4,
8th Western Conference) v. Houston Dynamo (3-2-1, 2nd Western Conference) 

All-Time Record: Houston lead the all-time series 9-3-6. 

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Last meeting: 

March 27, 2010—Dallas hosted Houston to open the 2010 season, and the
Texan rivals finished knotted at one. Defender Mike Chabala gave Houston the lead in the 36th
minute scoring the first goal of his MLS career before Dallas responded
just two minutes later through a long-range stunner from Atiba Harris. Dallas mounted several quality
chances in the second half, but their finishing let them down and the
game ended tied 1-1. 

What's at stake? 

The winner of Wednesday’s match receives El Capitán, the replica
cannon awarded to the winner of the team’s regular season series. With
MLS expansion, Dallas and Houston will only meet twice this year and
with the first match ending tied, the cannon goes to the winner of this
match. The Dynamo have won the cannon three of the last four years. 

More importantly is traction in the standings. Dallas have fallen off
the pace in the West and a win will put them right back in the thick of
things. Houston hope to build some momentum after their 3-0 drubbing of
Kansas City over the weekend in order to try to gain on the Galaxy.

Heroes & Villains: 

Atiba Harris v. Corey Ashe—With midfielder Marvin Chavez returning from injury soon, the
pressure is on Harris to perform. He had success in the first matchup
between the teams, scoring a goal, and arguably had his best match last
week against New England, when he also notched the equalizer.

Ashe returned to his preferred left midfield spot and played well
last week, having one of his best games in Dynamo orange. While he
didn’t make the scoresheet, the midfielder displayed a tireless work
rate and had a hand in several quality chances. Can he get the better of
Harris? 

Sala v. Landin and Oduro—It appeared entering the season
that goalkeeping would be a Dallas strength. Sala, though, has
struggled, and he conceded an embarrassing goal last week against New
England. His backup, Kevin Hartman, has not done much better in
his limited U.S. Open Cup appearances.

Houston strikeforce Luis Landin and Dominic Oduro clicked magically last week,
contributing a goal and three assists among them. Their combination
produces a lot of shots from various angles and distances, something
Sala—or Hartman—must contend with if Dallas are to get a result.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm ...":

The Dynamo are undefeated at home against Dallas. In all
competitions, Houston are 7-0-2 including U.S. Open Cup and playoff
matches. 

He said it:

“It’s one of probably the biggest rivalries in MLS. Everything is
bigger in Texas, so this game is going to be huge. They haven’t won yet
so they are going to come out hungry for three points.” — Dominic Oduro,
Houston striker