HOUSTON, TX – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will look to make it three straight wins on Friday night when they visit the new-look Houston Dynamo to conclude a four-match road trip.
KICKOFF: 6 p.m. PT | TV: TSN | RADIO: TSN 1410
Here’s everything you need to know about the match.
Road warriors: Friday’s match concludes a four-match road trip for Vancouver, in which they went toe-to-toe with Portland in a 2-1 defeat before claiming back-to-back victories over Montreal and Colorado. The ‘Caps, who have now won three of their last four matches, are in a good run of form at the moment – and they’ll be hoping to keep things going on Friday.
New-look Dynamo: After finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference in 2016, the Dynamo have turned things around in a big way under new head coach Wilmer Cabrera. Cabrera’s side are 5W-3L-1D through nine matches, including an unbeaten 5W-0L-1D record at home. They’ve also scored 19 goals, which is tied for the second highest total in MLS. Leading the way is Mexican striker Erick “Cubo” Torres, who has a league-leading seven goals, but Houston have also received significant contributions from Honduran wingers Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto, who each have four goals and an assist, and Colombian striker Mauro Manotas, who is coming off a two-goal, one-assist performance.
Houston homecoming: Sheanon Williams spent two seasons with Houston before joining Whitecaps FC this past offseason. The 27-year-old right back has been rock solid for the ‘Caps so far – he’s second on the team in tackles and third in interceptions. And on Friday, he returns to BBVA Compass Stadium to face his former team for the first time. It will also be a homecoming for last week’s hero Brek Shea, who grew up just outside of Houston. Shea has now scored in back-to-back matches.
Matias Laba (M) vs. Alex (M): The likes of Torres, Manotas, Elis, and Quioto have made the headlines for Houston so far this year, which is what happens when you score goals, but the ‘Caps can’t sleep on Alex. The Brazilian midfielder has six assists on the season, which is the second highest total in MLS. He also leads the Dynamo in chances created, touches, and successful passes. If the ‘Caps want to stop Houston’s attack at the source and prevent the aforementioned attacking players from getting the ball in dangerous areas, they’ll want to stop Alex. That’s where Matias Laba, and his midfield partners Andrew Jacobson and Tony Tchani, come into the equation.
DID YOU KNOW?
The ‘Caps earned their first-ever point in the state of Texas last July with a 0-0 draw at Houston. Can they get their first win on Friday?