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Game Notes: Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

March 13, 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Houston Dynamo News Release

HOUSTON - The Houston Dynamo head to the nation's capital looking to bounce back after suffering a rare home defeat last weekend at the hands of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The Dynamo dominated in possession and scoring chances last weekend, but fell victim to a stellar performance by 'Caps GK Stefan Marinovic paired with a penalty and one deadly counterattack as they fell 2-1 at home. Behind a potent attack led by forwards Alberth Elis, Mauro Manotas and Andrew Wenger, the Dynamo lead the league in shots on goal (17) and corner kicks (2), and are tied for the league lead in total shots (34) and goals scored (5).

Houston travels to the Maryland SoccerPlex hoping to replicate last year's result, a 3-1 win at RFK Stadium. That victory snapped a year-long road malaise for the Dynamo and set them off on a stretch in which they captured points in five of their last eight away matches as they surged into the playoffs.

Much like Houston, D.C. comes into Saturday in need of a win after starting the season off 0-1-1 and coming off of a 3-1 loss at Atlanta last weekend. The Black-and-Red are led by offseason acquisition Yamil Asad, who moved up the coast from Atlanta this winter and whose goal on Opening Day helped earn the team its first points of the season. And while Asad provides the spark, veteran forward Darren Mattocks provides the pace and finishing ability at the tip of United's attack. Like Asad, he joined the club in the offseason, and like Asad, he has quickly reacquainted himself with the back of an opponent's net. Stopping those two will be key for a Dynamo back line that will be itching to rebound after conceding twice last Saturday.

For Houston, the recipe for success so far this season has been relatively simple - get the ball to Elis in space and let him do his thing. The Honduran international has been deployed on both wings and as a central striker so far this season and has proven dangerous in every spot. He played a role in two of Houston's four goals in the opener, and he leads all MLS players with 17 shots on the young season. But he's far from a one-man show in the attack.

Veteran midfielder Eric Alexander has been a steady presence in the center of the park and has already picked up a pair of assists, while Designated Player Tomás Martínez returned last weekend after missing the opener due to a red card suspension and picked up his first regular-season assist. Manotas has seen his scoring total grow every year he's been in the league and is off to another fine start, while El Salvador co-captains Arturo Alvarez and Darwin Cerén add creativity and bite, respectively, in the midfield after joining the team in the offseason.


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