Saturday night's home match at PNC Stadium is important on multiple fronts for the Houston Dynamo. Not only do they have an opportunity to close the gap between them and MUNFC but it's a moment in time for stringing positive results together. Here are three things they must do.
First- The Dynamo must enter the match with their energy level in high gear. They must push the pace and tempo of the match. If they can put MUNFC on their back heel, good things can happen. They must carry the momentum of the San Jose win forward against a Loons team that scored four goals in a midweek international friendly. The big key will be using the Houston heat to their advantage and making MUNFC chase the ball and the game.
"It's nice being home," said defender Adam Lundvkist. "We're looking forward to putting some games together to make a big jump in the table, and it's a great opportunity at home for us. This game is very important for us, especially when we have a lot of away games coming up and to have this game at home. We have to take advantage of that, we are playing in front of our fans in Houston and in the heat."
Second - The containment of Emanuel Reynoso must be a priority. Number 10 has six goals and two assists in his last six matches. The offense goes through him. Darwin Ceren or Matias Vera, whomever is charged with defensive mid will need to know where he is at all times. The backline will need to maintain its form to eliminate anyone from sneaking in from behind for a soft goal.
Third - Eyes open and downfield at all times as the Loons offense is exceptionally good on the counter. The higher up Houston can push before a loss of possession, the better it will be for the defense to do their job.
"Do not give up too many turnovers, because they are (good in transition). Playing here, we know many teams like to sit back and counter," concluded Lundvkist. "We must be very disciplined, keep the ball moving. This is a game where we can win in the second half, we don't have to win it in the first five minutes. It's going to be hot and humid, so we know what to expect. Coming from Minnesota is not easy."
Kick-off for the July 23rd match is set 7:30pm CT.