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Scouting Report: What will round two of the Texas Derby be like?

The first round was a rather dull draw, so what is this next round going to bring?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After losses to Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders, I think we’re all looking for a positive result. Hopefully, the Houston Dynamo are the answer. But given our latest results, I’m sure they’re looking at us the same way. While FC Dallas started poorly and has begun to recently show signs of improvement, our southern neighbors played well early in the season and have been slowly falling down the standings ever since. The Dynamo enter the fray with a record of 3W-9D-8L – good for 18 points and 12th in the Western Conference.

Recent Results

Date Home Score Away
Date Home Score Away
7/31 Real Salt Lake 0-0 Houston
8/4 Houston 2-3 Austin
8/7 Houston 0-2 Minnesota
8/14 Colorado 3-1 Houston
8/18 Houston 1-2 Real Salt Lake

Houston’s last win was May 22, that’s nearly three months ago. And they’re incorporating new players on the fly. Despite the recent run of losses, they’ve shown a knack for scrapping for draws against better sides. However, against Real Salt Lake, Houston gave up an early goal on a turnover in the defensive third but they equalized off a corner when Fafa Picault picked up his second goal in as many games (he scored a PK against Colorado) before the Dynamo gave up a second goal late. Relative-unknown Griffin Dorsey looks promising as he fills in for the injured Tyler Pasher. No goals yet for Dorsey, but he’s active on the right wing. Overall, while Houston is struggling, they are showing the potential to be dangerous if they can solve their defensive woes.

Who are these guys?:

Griffin Dorsey – the 22-year-old Colorado native was waived by Toronto in May and then picked up by Houston in July. He’s made six appearances since arriving.

Adalberto Carrasquilla – the 22-year-old Panamanian midfielder arrived a few weeks ago from LaLiga2 side Cartagena. He’s not made it on the score sheet, but he’s taking shots and making pretty passes.

Teenage Hadebe – arriving from Turkish side Malatyaspor, the 25-year-old center back is supposed to shore up the defense next to Tim Parker

Keys to the Match:

1) We know that Picault and Urruti will be running at defenders. The two lead the Dynamo with 11 combined goals, but they lack the finishing quality to make Houston’s offense truly potent. However, their new Panamanian signing looks ready to expand their offense beyond forced turnovers and transition play.

2) Defensively, Houston struggles with combination play in the box. Hopefully, Pomykal is ready to go and the young front four can take advantage of the Orangemen’s lack of cohesion. To that end, I want to see Schon put one in the back of the net. Again, if Pomykal returns, then we’re adding more entropy to the mix, but Dallas needs to have a consistent scoring threat besides Pepi so that teams can’t commit so many resources to him, and Schon seems poised to make that jump – especially against a weaker side like Houston.

3) When Sporting came to town last weekend, they came with a mission and the intensity to back it up. Dallas needs that kind of intensity when this game starts. They need this win and they need to prove to themselves that the recent four-game run of results was not a fluke.

Line Up Prediction: 4-2-3-1

– Urruti –
Picault - Carrasquilla– Dorsey
Ceren - Vera
Lundkvist – Hadebe – Parker – Valentin
Maric

Injury Report:

OUT: Nico Lemoine (right groin)

QUESTIONABLE: Ethan Bartlow (right thigh strain), Tyler Pasher (right lower body), Corey Baird (lower body)