FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo FC hope that the added fuel of the continuation of the Texas Derby can push them back into the winner’s column when the Lone Star State rivals square off Saturday in Houston.
The Dynamo should be bolstered by the first game action by midfielder Hector Herrera, who is eligible after becoming Houston’s biggest-name Designated Player after signing with the team in June.
Dallas captured the season’s first meeting between the teams on April 23 in north Texas, continuing a 16-match stretch where the home team has not lost in the rivalry (eight wins, eight ties). The road team has not won in this series since Dallas beat the Dynamo in Houston in August 2016.
Both teams have been struggling of late. Houston (6-9-3, 21 points) has lost two straight games and eight of its past 11 matches, a stretch of near futility that began with the defeat on the road to Dallas in April.
All three of the Dynamo’s victories in the run have come when they have shut out their opponents. If the opposition has scored, Houston has lost, including a 2-1 home setback to expansion Charlotte FC on Sunday in which the Dynamo fell behind early with an own goal and could not climb out of an eventual two-goal hole.
Houston’s tally came in the 81st minute from Fafa Picault, who had entered as reserve.
Herrera, a mainstay on the Mexican national team over the past decade, helped lead Atletico to the Spanish league championship in 2020-21 and the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals this season. The 32-year-old also won three domestic trophies with Portuguese giant FC Porto.
“I believe that I have arrived at my best moment, where I can still give my best, where I can help the team to reach the top, to win,” Herrera said. “I feel in my best shape, my greatest maturity. I can offer the best of me for this project, and not in a few years (when) I could no longer give the best of me on the field.”
Dallas (7-5-6, 27 points) is winless in its past four matches (two draws) and has won just once in its last seven outings (1-4-2). It has allowed 13 goals over that seven-game stretch. after conceding an MLS-low eight goals in its first 11 matches.
FC Dallas heads south after a 1-1 draw at home Monday with Inter Miami in which Dallas’ only score came on an Alan Velasco goal on a direct free kick in the 27th minute. Monday’s draw mirrored a result on June 25 on the road against Austin FC in which Dallas led late in the game but conceded in the final minutes and was forced to settle with a draw.
“We are frustrated with the fact we haven’t gotten the points we have desired,” FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez said. “There have been good moments throughout the last few matches, but we need to dominate certain areas of the game. Once we correct these aspects of the game, we will be able to control the outcome of the games.”
Houston captured the most recent meeting between the teams on its home pitch last September but hasn’t won twice in a row a home against Dallas since 2007, always following up wins with draws during that stretch.
–Field Level Media