MLS

​Houston Dynamo FC v FC Dallas: Estevez hopes to take advantage of 'great opportunity'

By Sports Desk May 18, 2024

Nico Estevez considers FC Dallas' trip to Houston Dynamo FC a "great opportunity" for his side to lay down a real marker.

Dallas defeated Austin FC 2-1 last time out and have now taken seven points from the last nine on offer on home soil.

Away from home, however, they have taken just one point from a possible 15 this season, with Estevez now after points plus performances in his side's fourth Copa Tejas outing of the campaign.

"I think the team is working well," he said. "They are energetic and we are improving both in results and the level of play.

"We have to continue growing. This game is a great opportunity to do so away from home; to be able to achieve something more than just points and to be able to achieve something important that will help us.

"We are going to have to do many things well to be able to win against a rival as important as Houston."

The Dynamo went down 1-0 to Austin late on in midweek, placing them eighth in the Western Conference and six points better off than their next opponents, having played a game more.

Houston have scored the fewest goals of any side in the West (11), which head coach Ben Olsen acknowledged is down to a lack of quality in front of goal.

"It's decision making and quality in the moment," he said at his pre-match press conference. 

"It's not for the lack of getting in dangerous areas on the field. Checking boxes, you don't need a 2.0 expected goals to win games."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo - Amine Bassi

The Dynamo had 17 shots against Austin without finding the net, six of which were on target - and three of those via Bassi alone.

Bassi's 1.8 shots per game is bettered only by Ibrahim Aliyu (2.5) this season among Houston players, yet he has registered zero goals thus far. That is something that must be put right.

FC Dallas - Petar Musa

Musa played a part in both of Dallas' goals in their victory over Austin, as he scored the opener himself and then assisted Jesus Ferreira for what proved to be the decisive goal.

The Croatia international has now contributed to five of Dallas' last seven MLS goals - three goals and two assists - meaning he is the man for Houston to stop.

MATCH PREDICTION: HOUSTON WIN

Houston's loss to Austin was their fourth defeat in their past seven league matches, compared to just two losses across their previous 17 outings dating back to last July.

Dallas have won three of their past four games in all competitions, meanwhile, having won just three out of 17 prior to this upturn in form. 

However, not since November 2020 have Dallas won three successive games across all competitions, while the home team in this fixture is unbeaten in the last 20 encounters between these sides - albeit 11 of those ending all square.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Houston - 42.2%
Draw - 29.3%
Dallas - 28.5%

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