Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (9-13-9, 36 points) and the Houston Dynamo (10-16-4, 34 points) at BBVA Stadium. It’s the only scheduled meeting in this cross-conference series scheduled for 2019 and both teams need three points to try to stay in the playoff race as the season winds down.
Orlando City is 1-1-2 in the all-time series (1-1-0 on the road). Last year’s game was, well, kind of an awful game, and ended in a 0-0 draw in Orlando. While the Lions did manage to get just their second clean sheet of 2018 in this fixture a year ago, Orlando City was also shut out for the third consecutive game at the time.
The Lions last went to BBVA Stadium in 2017 and were wiped off the field, 4-0. A leggy Orlando team flew directly to Houston from Toronto after a hard-fought game against the Reds and saw the rested Dynamo’s speed on full display. Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas (twice), and Romell Quioto provided the goals and it honestly could have been worse.
The 2016 match in Orlando was another 0-0 draw, in what was a pretty forgettable game under Bobby Murphy, who was serving his first stint as Orlando City’s interim coach following the firing of Adrian Heath. In the first meeting, back in 2015, the Lions went to Texas and came home with a 1-0 victory in Houston. Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric — under extreme pressure from Pedro Ribeiro — punched the ball into the back of his own net for the only goal of the match. That was Orlando City’s first MLS victory.
So, to review, Orlando City has played Houston four times and only a Dynamo player has scored for the Lions in those four matches. Splendid.
Orlando City is winless in five matches (0-2-3) but has played well enough to win four of those five. This is just life as a City fan. Nothing to be concerned about. Just the usual. Watching the Lions play well enough to win but then not winning is agonizing, but we’re used to it at this point. But this is absolutely the time that the switch has to get flipped or it will be too late to flip it. The Lions need a win. All three points or bust. That won’t be easy.
Houston is in 11th place in the Western Conference but the Dynamo are solid at home, posting a mark of 8-3-4 on their home patch. Houston has played better in recent weeks under interim manager Davy Arnaud, who helped his side snap a seven-game skid (0-6-1) with a 2-0 win over Minnesota in the Dynamo’s last home game. Houston did lose at Vancouver last weekend, but helped the Whitecaps with a penalty.
The Dynamo have excellent attacking pieces and Orlando cannot have turnovers or poor touches in their own half or they’ll get murdered. However, this might be a match where both teams try to take a defensive stance and that could result in yet another 0-0 draw. We’ll see if the game opens up in the second half with both teams needing all three points.
Orlando City is relatively healthy, with Joao Moutinho (hamstring) listed as questionable and no one else on the list this week. Houston lists AJ DeLaGarza (right foot) and Juan David Cabezas (left knee) as out and Kiki Struna (right knee) as questionable.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more insight about the Dynamo with the help from Derek Stowers of SB Nation’s Houston FC blog, Dynamo Theory.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Sebas Mendez, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Nani, Dom Dwyer, Mauricio Pereyra.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Carlos Ascues, Kyle Smith, Uri Rosell, Chris Mueller, Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele.
Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Willis.
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley, Maynor Figueroa, Kiki Struna, Adam Lundkvist.
Defensive Midfielders: Oscar Boniek Garcia, Matias Vera.
Attacking Midfielders: Christian Ramirez, Tommy McNamara, Alberth Elis.
Forwards: Mauro Manotas,
Bench: Tyler Deric, Jose Bizama, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darwin Céren, Memo Rodriguez, Tomas Martinez, Niko Hansen.
Ref: Rubiel Vazquez.
AR1: Kevin Klinger.
AR2: CJ Morgante.
4th: Sergii Demianchuk.
VAR: Allen Chapman.
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: BBVA Stadium — Houston, TX.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (formerly My65) (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), Accion 97.9 FM (Spanish), 810 AM.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ and YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!
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