Heading into the 2014 season, there was only one match scheduled in the Texas Derby rivalry. And FC Dallas took that match in Houston 4-1 on April 5.
However, the two teams will meet Tuesday night in Houston for the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Dynamo still has a few injuries they are trying to recover from before the MLS season starts back up. Although some players have returned to training, Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said they are not cleared to play Tuesday.
Out - Defender David Horst (Right knee surgery), midfielder Ricardo Clark (concussion).
Houston currently has two players in Brazil on international duty. Midfielder Boniek Garcia is hoping to get another start for Honduras Wednesday against Switzerland as the CONCACAF squad tries to make a miraculous bid to the Round of 16. Houston captain Brad Davis has yet to suit up for USA in the World Cup, but is looking to get some minutes in Thursday's match against Germany.
Probable starting lineup
If Dynamo lineup the way they did in the fourth round against Laredo Heat, then they will be set in the 4-4-2 formation, with the midfield set up in a diamond formation.
GK: Tally Hall; LB: Warren Creavalle; CB: A.J Cochran, Jermaine Taylor; RB: Kofi Sarkodie; CDM: Servando Carrasco; LM: Andrew Driver; RM: Alexander Lopez; CAM: Giles Barnes; LF: Will Bruin; RF: Omar Cummings.
Fabian Castillo vs. Tally Hall - I've said it before and I'll say it again: Castillo is hot so give him the ball. With the amount of success Castillo has had in June, he will continue to ride that momentum and trouble Hall. Hall isn't as fresh as he should be after being replaced by Tyler Deric in recent games, but after having to finish the game against Laredo Heat in the fourth round due to Deric's red card, he'll be hoping to reassert himself as Dynamo's keeper.
Keys to Advancing
Keep the back line tight. Houston has struggled on offense throughout their 2014 campaign. Against Laredo, Houston was only able to score one goal. Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz was forced to make save after save against San Antonio last week. Although the Dynamo will try to rebuild confidence with a plethora of goals, FCD has to shut down and shutout Houston. One goal could be all Dynamo needs to turn things around on attack and become a huge force on offense.
Attack. Attack. Attack. FCD has picked things up a lot up-top this month. With shifts upfront in the second half of the fourth round match with San Antonio, the Hoops have saw good things happen. If FCD continues to rip shots and control the ball in the attacking third, there's no excuse for Dallas not hitting three or four goals.
It's Houston. Losing to Houston would probably be worse than having to watch Portugal tie things up in the last 30 seconds against USA when we could have advanced. Okay, maybe not that bad... but losing to Houstank has to be enough motivation for FCD to head into BBVA Compass Stadium and take the win. There's nothing like a rivalry match, especially when the stakes are win or go home. We've beaten them once before this season and should beat them again.