Dynamo-FC Dallas Preview
Perhaps an inspiring second-half effort from its most recent contest will spark FC Dallas to earn a much-needed victory this weekend.
Stuck below the playoff line in the Western Conference, Dallas looks to avoid going winless in a third straight contest Sunday night, when they host the rival Houston Dynamo.
FCD (10-10-7) looked headed for a second straight defeat and third in four games last weekend at Montreal, but it managed to overcame a 3-0 deficit by scoring three goals from the 59th minute on.
Zdenek Ondrasek got the comeback started just before the hour mark, then Reto Ziegler scored off an 85th-minute penalty kick. Ryan Hollingshead then recorded the stunning equalizer in the 90th minute to give the visitors what seemed like an improbable point only minutes earlier.
"I believed from the beginning of the second half that we could (come back)," Ondrasek told Dallas' official website.
Though Dallas sits just out of playoff position in the West, and has one victory over the last five games (1-2-2), the victory has the potential to be one of those season-defining moments. However, Dallas players only want to move forward, worrying about their own play.
"We're going to focus on ourselves, and how we're going to play our way," Ondrasek added. "We want to win. It's our home."
That home pitch has been good to Dallas, which is 7-1-5 there this season and 4-0-3 against Houston since losing to the Dynamo on Sept. 24, 2011. Dallas, however, lost 2-1 at Houston back on May 4. Mauro Manotas scored the first two goals of that game for the Dynamo and Dominique Badji (six goals) pulled one back late for FCD.
Since that victory, Houston (9-13-4) is 3-12-3 and left with plenty of work to get back into playoff position - which seemed all but a certainty when it last faced Dallas. The Dynamo, however, should have a little momentum after rallying from a 2-0 first-half deficit to draw Colorado 2-2 last weekend, thanks to another Manotas brace.
It was Houston's first match under interim coach Davy Arnaud, who was placed into the role after Wilmer Cabrera was sacked earlier in the week.
"To have that spirit and not give up, and keep fighting until the end, that's what we've been about in the past and that's what we're trying to get back to," keeper Joe Willis told the Dynamo's official website.
Despite the way the season has unfolded for Houston, Manotas remains a bright spot. The Colombian has recorded three of his team-leading 11 goals over the last three matches.
Updated August 23, 2019