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Three Points: Houston Dynamo Travel to Frisco for Leg Two of the Texas Derby

September 11, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Houston Dynamo News Release

HOUSTON - The Houston Dynamo wrap up a two-game road trip on Saturday with the second leg of the Texas Derby against FC Dallas. Houston will look to extend their unbeaten run to seven games after Wednesday's 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids.

Memo Rodriguez tallied his third assist of the season when he found Christian Ramirez in the first minute of the second half. Ramirez scored his second goal of the year and he has found his form away from BBVA Stadium. The 29-year-old forward has scored two goals and added an assist in the two matches away from BBVA Stadium in Phase 1.

Wilfried Zahibo made his first start for the Dynamo and head coach Tab Ramos used his third different lineup in as many games as the club navigates four games in 11 days. Houston will have a week to prepare for Phase 2 following Saturday's match and return to action at BBVA Stadium on Sept. 19 against Minnesota United.

The Dynamo will look for their fourth victory in the last five games as they end Phase 1 on Saturday. Houston began Phase 1 on Aug. 21 with a 0-0 draw at BBVA Stadium with FC Dallas. The all-time series is tied with a 11-11-14 record and both teams split each match at home last year.

Dallas will look to Zdenek Ondrasek and Jesus Ferreira to spark an offense that has only scored 10 goals this season, tied for the second fewest in the Western Conference. Defensively, Luchi Gonzalez' squad has only allowed eight goals, tied for the second fewest in the league this season.

WHO: Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 12 - 7:30 p.m. CDT TV: QuestTexas Ch. 55 (Glenn Davis and Eddie Robinson) TelExitos Ch. 47.2 (Alex Parra and Enrique Vazquez) RADIO: TUDN Radio Houston 1010 AM (Daniel Mejia and Lester Gretsch)

Here are three key points ahead of Saturday's game:

1. PHASE 1 ENDS WITH TEXAS DERBY: The Dynamo returned to BBVA Stadium on Aug. 21 to open Phase 1 of MLS' return to play following the MLS is Back Tournament, almost six months since the sold-out home opener against the LA Galaxy on Feb. 29. Since the 0-0 draw with FC Dallas last month the Dynamo have secured three victories in their last four games and currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with 14 points. Houston will close Phase 1 on Saturday in Frisco and look to extend their six-game unbeaten run, a first since the 2017 season.

2. MARIC KEY TO DEFENSIVE SUCCESS: Marko Maric finished with five saves on Wednesday to match his MLS career high. The Dynamo shot stopper now has 31 saves this season and two clean sheets. The goalkeeper has led Houston to a positive result in eight of the 10 matches disputed this campaign and will look to match his first performance against Dallas from Aug. 21. The Dynamo backline limited Marko's activity as he was only called into action once and earned his first clean sheet of the season.

3. DALLAS IN NEED OF POINTS: FC Dallas has one victory since MLS returned to play in August and face a quick turnaround after they fell on the road to Minnesota United 3-1 on Wednesday. Dallas will be without Reggie Cannon who signed with Boavista FC in Portugal earlier this week. Additionally, Paxton Pomykal will miss the match on Saturday after he underwent arthroscopic labrum repair. The Dynamo backline will be tasked with containing Ondrasek, Ferreira and Dallas Homegrown forward Ricardo Pepi who has two goals and one assist this season. The trio have combined for six of FC Dallas' 10 goals this campaign and three assists.


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