FRISCO - FC Dallas has no time to rest as they get set to host the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium in the final leg of the 2017 Texas Derby. Dallas (9-6-8, 35 pts.) returns home after a 2-0 loss to Sporting KC on Saturday - their third loss in the last four matches. Houston (10-8-7, 37 pts.) is coming off a 2-1 defeat to Vancouver on the road on Saturday night. The two sides have played to 0-0 and 1-1 draws in the previous two meetings this season.
Down to This
The bragging rights to El Capitan, awarded to the yearly series winner in the Texas Derby, are up for grabs on Wednesday. After a 0-0 draw in May and a 1-1 draw in June, the late-August meeting will be the rubber match in deciding where the cannon resides for the next 12 months. A win by either side would capture the series, where as a draw would see the cannon stay in Houston (if teams are tied on points, the teams would be tied goal differential and without a U.S. Open Cup matchup to tie-break, El Capitan’s fate falls to the previous season’s winner).
Matt Hedges vs. Mauro Manotas - Manotas is Houston’s most in-form striker with three goals in his last five matches, filling the void left by Erick “Cubo” Torres’ scoring drought dating back to July 1. Another option in the Dynamo’s three-pronged attack, Romell Quioto, broke a scoring drought of his own last week in Vancouver. The Dallas defense will be tested by an offense with the second most goals in the Western Conference.
Mauro Diaz vs. Ricardo Clark - After not traveling to Kansas City, Diaz should be ready to go against the Dynamo, looking to spark a Dallas offense that has been left searching for answers of late. Clark also enjoyed the weekend off and will be well-rested looking to keep FCD’s scoring woes rolling.
Last Time Out
(4-3-3): Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, A.J. DeLaGarza (suspended vs. FCD); Alex, Juan Cabezas (suspended vs. FCD), Boniek Garcia; Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, Andrew Wenger.
Keys to Three Points
Dallas will look to turn things around at home and pull out of their current funk. They were able to get a point on home soil against Colorado 10 days ago and will need to build off of their attacking chances in that match as opposed to the defending-look we saw in Kansas City. There’s an added emphasis on and Derby match and with a trophy on the line, FCD should leave it all on the field on Wednesday night.