Not only did the three MLS clubs from Texas miss out on the playoffs last season, they brought the Western Conference to a close. Times are changing as the 50th edition of the Texas derby approaches on Saturday night. FC Dallas is sixth in the West while the Dynamo are 11th, but the progression is clear with Hector Herrera available for this match.
the old Atlético Madrid current Mexican midfielder and international joining Dynamo is a for a team that needs direction. Hererra has been training with the team since July 1, so he should, at a minimum, step onto the pitch and maybe even crack the starting XI. It would be a big boost as the team looks to end a two-game losing streak, but their in-state rivals won’t go down easily.
In Alan Velasco and Paul Arriola, FC Dallas has its own exciting additions that have been able to bring the team back to expected performance levels. Not to be upstaged, Jesus Ferreira enters the game tied for the MLS lead with 10 goals as he has benefited from the partnerships built within Dallas’ front three. After selling Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg in Germany, Dallas reinvested the money to improve the squad.
A team known for producing great academy players but not spending to increase their talent, scenario-turning Dallas will go a long way when it comes to hanging out with the big spenders in the West. The defense has also improved ahead of Maarten Paes who has conceded just 21 goals in 18 appearances this season. Combine that with Paxton Pomykal being back to his best and Arriola scoring in five straight MLS games and it’s no surprise that Dallas holds a playoff berth despite being winless in its last four games.
Here are our scenarios, how you can watch the game and more:
How to watch and odds
Date: Saturday July 9 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: PNC Stadium — Houston, TX
TV: AT&T Sportsnet SW 2 and TXA21 | Direct: ESPN+
Odds: Houston +140; Draw +235; Dallas +195 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Houston Dynamos: Tyler Fisher is the only unavailable player for Paulo Nagamura’s side as they seek to defeat Dallas after losing 2-1 in their last meeting. Herrera’s departure would be a major boost, but Sebastian Ferreira and Darwin Quintero will likely determine the outcome of the game. Daniel Steres is also set to make his 150th appearance, which would be quite a feat as he has helped improve Dynamo’s defensive prospects this season.
FC Dallas: Also in good health, FC Dallas will only be deprived Joshua Quinonez who came out with a sprained ankle. Nico Estevez has a pretty steady rotation as the team picks itself these days, but it all starts and ends with the top three. They will need support from wingers Nanu and Marco Farfan but if Dallas can make the break, Houston will have to worry.
Herrera will make an immediate impact by helping contain FC Dallas on the counter, but the points will be split as both teams will have chances. Take: Houston Dynamo 2, FC Dallas 2