Preview: Dynamo vs. Minnesota United 7/7
The Dynamo are coming off a game where the whole team showed a lot of grit and perseverance. Any other positive conclusions are dubious at best. While it’s remarkable that Houston was able to get two goals in the final minutes of extra time, it’s far from good that it took them that long to score. On the other side, Minnesota United is coming off a 4-3 victory against Toronto that snapped a three-game losing streak in league play. The victory came on the back of a Darwin Quintero hat trick, that was truly a work of spectacular finesse.
The Teams So Far
The last time that these two teams faced each other it was in the U.S. Open Cup, and the Dynamo nor Minnesota made a statement. The only goal of the match was a header from Mauro Monatos that went in the near post. From a statistics point of view this isn’t expected, something you can see without peeking under the hood. Skip the XGoals stuff and just look at the goals for the team minus goals against the team(goal differential), Houston is at +7 and Minnesota is at -11.
That -11 is tied for the worst in all of MLS this season which is peculiar for a team that’s near the middle of the table in the Western Conference. Meaning that there is some regression in order for Minnesota and we’ve already discussed how Houston could be in store for some positive regression. Houston despite some recent struggles will still be heavy favorites to win this game in my opinion.
Things To Look For
On the Dynamo side of the ball, the biggest concern for me after the match against LAFC was the lack offensive prowess. At different points in the match, the Dynamo seemed to struggle with almost every action in the chain leading to goals. I won’t harp on any particular point too hard because the overall offensive showing against LAFC was all around lackluster. It was definitely a worry to see the Dynamo held scoreless to the 93rd minute, no matter what happened after.
I’d continue to look at how people play Elis, in the last match I didn’t notice anything egregious but there were some unnecessarily hard challenges when Elis was on the ball. Mauro Monatos scored his last time facing Minnesota United and has been hot recently so I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make a good amount of noise. On the Dynamo I’ll also be keeping an eye out for Senderos, he was pivotal to shutting down the LAFC attack last game after their 5th-minute goal. I expect him to be critical in keeping Minnesota’s Darwin Quintero away from the box.