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What to watch for against the Houston Dynamo

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How can Dallas build on last week’s performance?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Los Angeles Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The second leg of the 2017 Texas Derby is here as FC Dallas heads south to take on the Houston Dynamo tomorrow night. Here are three big items to look out for as the two rivals meet.

Consistency

We hailed last week’s game as a “total team performance”. All we can ask is to use that as a building block. While the Dynamo are a better team than the Whitecaps, the momentum that playing a solid, albeit frustrating, game can have may propel Dallas to three points here. Or at least another cohesive team performance to build confidence, three points at Houston is a tall order this season.

Sass from the Houston fans

After the last meeting, the FC Dallas front office imposed restrictions on traveling Houston fans’ privileges (bringing flags, banners, instruments) a citing “unacceptable behavior.” Which is just another one of the head scratching decisions from a front office that seems to be so good at the soccer side of things and so poor at the business side of things. Needless to say Houston fans interpreted this as Dallas being intimidated by their passion and volume of support.

The sass has started early as Houston used their pregame media guide as an opportunity to poke a little fun at Dallas, referencing the Dallas front office’s claim that Dynamo supporters used smoke bombs and flares outside of the stadium despite Dallas’ rules against those items.

From Houston’s official media guide

A little luck

Last meeting between Dallas and Houston featured an otherworldly performance from Tyler Deric. It also featured a host of missed chances by Dallas. All Dallas needs is a little more consistency in putting away chances, or just a lackluster performance from a goalkeeper and it could turn the team around.

Shot chart from the first meeting

This FC Dallas team is a fantastic argument against expected goals. Just think back to last week. Roland Lamah can’t put a free header on target from eight yards away. Then Maxi Urruti steals the ball near the center circle in the 51’ and miraculously dribbles through three defenders and beats the keeper. This Dallas team seems to be relying on grit and competitiveness to create chances instead of well organized buildup. But they’re just too good for the goals not to start coming. Could this be the week we see them put it all together?