Three Points: Houston Dynamo Begin Two-Game Stretch against Eastern Conference Opponents in Florida
HOUSTON - The Houston Dynamo travel to Florida on Saturday to face Inter Miami CF. This is the first meeting between both clubs and Houston's second trip to the east coast in 2020.
Saturday is the third game of a five-game stretch to open the month of October. Houston earned a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday to split the first two matches of the month. Forward Darwin Quintero gave Houston the lead in the first half off an assist from Ari Lassiter, his first of the season. Quintero has been critical for the Dynamo this season and leads the team in goals with six and assists with eight. The second goal of the evening came from the penalty spot after Niko Hansen was brought down in the penalty area in the final minutes of the second half. Midfielder Darwin Ceren converted the penalty kick for his first goal of the season and to secure Houston's fourth victory of the season.
Defensively, Houston earned their third clean sheet of the season and goalkeeper Marko Maric was named the Man of the Match. The 24-year-old shot stopper finished with eight saves, a new career high and leads the Western Conference in saves with 57. Additionally, Kiki Struna earned Audi Team of the Week honors after he finished with five clearances, three blocks and two clearances.
The Dynamo will welcome back Matias Vera and Maynor Figueroa on Saturday after they served their one-match suspension on Wednesday for yellow card accumulation. Mauro Manotas will miss Saturday's match due to the red card he received at the end of the first half on Wednesday for a late challenge on Andrés Ricaurte.
Saturday's match will be the first between Houston and Miami and the second match of the season against an expansion side. Miami enters the match with momentum after they defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena. Mattias Pellegrini scored the equalizer minutes after New York scored the opening goal in the 53rd minute. Gonzalo Higuain scored his first MLS goal and the game-winner in the 81st minute to secure Miami's fourth victory of the season.
Miami currently sit four points from the final playoff spot and they look to build momentum after only claiming two victories in their last six games. Miami enters Saturday's game with a 2-6-2 record in their last 10 games.
Houston returns to BBVA Stadium on Wednesday to host Nashville in the second and final meeting of the regular season.
Houston Dynamo at Inter Miami CF
Saturday, Oct. 10 - 4:00 p.m. CDT
UniMas and TUDN (Luis Omar Tapia, Diego Balado and Daniel Nohra)
TUDN Radio Houston 1010 AM (Daniel Mejia and Lester Gretsch)
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday's game:
1. VETERANS RETURN TO BOOST DEFENSE: Defender Maynor Figueroa and defensive midfielder Matias Vera are eligible to play on Saturday after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation. The duo plays a key role in the Dynamo backline and both have played in all but one match prior to their suspension. Figueroa leads the team in recoveries with 86 and Vera is fourth after winning possession 77 times this season. Figueroa is tied for the most interceptions on the team with 26 and Vera trails by one interception with 25 this season. The duo contribute offensively as well, Figueroa has scored two goals this season and the team is 1-0-1 when the defender scores. Vera has created 12 chances this season, the second most chances created by a midfielder this season.
2. NEXT THREE-GAME GAUNTLET: The Dynamo enter the second half of a five-game stretch to open the final full month of the regular season. Houston will return from Miami on Saturday to prepare for a midweek match with Nashville SC on Wednesday at BBVA Stadium. Houston returns to the road on Sunday to face Minnesota United for the fifth match in a 15-day stretch. The Dynamo will have a week to recover and prepare for their next match on Oct. 24 at home against the Columbus Crew, the final match at BBVA Stadium prior to Decision Day on Nov. 8.
3. MIAMI OFFENSE BRINGS GOAL-SCORING PEDIGREE: Miami was held scoreless in three consecutive games from Aug. 30-Sept. 6 and since then the South Florida side has scored 10 goals in their last seven matches. Gonzalo Higuain added his first goal of the season on Wednesday in his third game with the club since signing on Sept. 18. The offense will feature more than just Higuain, the Dynamo backline will also need to contain Lewis Morgan who has scored four goals since the MLS is Back Tournament in July. Juan Agudelo and Rodolfo Pizza combine for six goals and five assists this season and the duo will look to keep Miami in the playoff race. Miami currently sits four points shy of the final playoff spot with seven games left to play in the regular season.
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Major League Soccer Stories from October 9, 2020
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- D.C. United Acquire An International Roster Slot from Sporting KC and Edison Flores Activated from Injured List - D.C. United
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- Trapp Ahead of Career Milestone: "I Just Hope for a Win for the TeamÃ¢ÂÂ - Inter Miami CF
- Match Preview: Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls - Atlanta United FC
- MLS Disciplinary Committee Decisions - MLS
- New York Begin Back-To-Back Road Trips, Starting in Atlanta - New York Red Bulls
- Inter Miami CF to Host Houston Dynamo on Saturday - Inter Miami CF
- Three Points: Houston Dynamo Begin Two-Game Stretch against Eastern Conference Opponents in Florida - Houston Dynamo
- Sporting KC Hosts Nashville SC on Sunday - Sporting Kansas City
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