Match Preview: Chivas USA vs. Houston Dynamo

Goats looking to put Dynamo struggles in rear-view mirror

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Chivas USA is set to welcome the Houston Dynamo to The Home Depot Center Saturday, (7:30 PM on FSWest, tickets available here) in what looks to be a key match for the Red-and-White. Both teams are on four-game unbeaten streaks and the Dynamo (24 points) sit just one point above the Goats (23) in a tight battle for playoff positioning. 

According to head coach Robin Fraser, it’s never too early to start looking at the table.

“Yeah, you start to play attention to the playoff race now,” said Fraser.  “[We’re] getting to the time of year where every game matters, and it’s certainly a big game for us.

Chivas USA last played the Dynamo on June 11th in Houston’s Robertson Stadium.  The Goats took an early lead on a Marcos Mondaini goal, but the Dynamo found an equalizer before the half and went on to win 2-1.

Fraser insisted his side wasn’t looking “revenge” in Saturday’s match.

“Obviously we were unhappy to have dropped all three points in Houston, but they played well on the day,” said Fraser.  “They’re a good team, they’re a direct team and they have a lot of good and athletic players. But [Saturday] is a home game for us, so we feel like this is another opportunity to get three points.”

The match in June was just the latest in a long history of problems for the Goats against Houston.  In the 15 MLS meetings between the two clubs, Chivas USA have only won once.  It’s a statistic fourth-year Goat Justin Braun knows all too well, though the forward insisted the team is ready to move on.

“Those games in the past are in the past,” said Braun.  “And we have had success against them, last year we beat them [in the US Open Cup quarterfinal], so we don’t really dwell on [the historical record].”

Saturday’s game is also important as it marks the end of the team’s July home stand.  After Saturday, the Goats embark on a road-heavy August, with the next five games all coming on the road.

“Certainly being the last home game in a while we understand the importance of it,” said Fraser.  “But where we are, every game has pressure to win.  If you’re sitting on top of the league at 42 points then you don’t have as much pressure to win, but where we are, every game has pressure.”