MLS Preview-Week 12

Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo

Talen Energy Stadium-Chester, PA-6:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

  • The Dynamo go on the road for their first midweek game of the season against suddenly hot Philadelphia Union.  Midweek games will occur more frequently over the next few weeks as the league attempts to clear space for the CONCACAF Gold Cup break in early July.
  • Philadelphia, left for dead a few weeks ago, has won back-to-back games, including a 4-0 thrashing of DC United on the road last Saturday. The Union currently sit in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, but given how early it is in the season, they are still only 5 points out of a playoff spot.  CJ Sapong, who had a hat-trick two weeks ago, leads the team in scoring with 7 goals.  Part of the reason for the Union’s turnaround is that Bosnia and Herzegovina international midfielder, Haris Medunjanin, an offseason Targeted Acquisition signing, has gotten untracked over the last few weeks. In DC last weekend, he had a goal and multiple assists. Philadelphia is covered in the back by the athletic goalkeeper Andre Blake, who many recognize as the best young goalie in MLS.
  • The Dynamo, who unfortunately have yet to get a point on the road in three previous games, face the possibility of playing without winger Alberth Elis, who has been the most dangerous Dynamo attacker this year.  Elis, who suffered a first-half hamstring injury against Vancouver last Friday, is listed as questionable this week. Midfielder Alex was named to his second consecutive MLS Team of the Week for his performance against Vancouver.
  • The Dynamo have a winning all-time record against Philadelphia (6-4-4), though has only a single victory in the seven that have been played on the road.

Atlanta United vs. Houston Dynamo

Bobby Dodd Stadium-Atlanta, GA-6:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, May 20, 2017

  • This will be the first ever meeting between the two clubs and the only match they will play in the regular season.
  • Atlanta United has made a big splash as a first-year expansion team. United is currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points. Atlanta’s early schedule has been road-heavy (exactly opposite of the Dynamo…3 home and 7 away) as the team awaits the move into a new stadium they will share with the NFL Falcons.  The club has had its share of impressive results on the road so far, including draws in Seattle, Toronto and Portland (last weekend).
  • Despite missing striker Josef Martinez, who before he got hurt was leading the league in scoring, Atlanta has a plethora of attacking options. Miguel Almiron has two goals and four assists and Hector Villalba has added four goals.  Grapevine-native Greg Garza and MLS veteran Michael Parkhurst lead the defense that will be bolstered in July when U.S. International goalkeeper returns from England to join Atlanta.

FC Dallas (FCD) vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Toyota Stadium-Frisco-7:00 p.m., Saturday, May 20, 2017

  • FC Dallas will be looking to make amends for the last second goal they gave up to the Earthquakes a few weeks ago in San Jose that led to a 1-1 draw.
  • San Jose has been up and down all season.  After a victory in Minnesota, and an impressive 3-0 win at home against Portland, the club was taken apart last weekend in Colorado.  Despite the lack of consistency, the Earthquakes still sit in 5th place on 15 points, only four behind FC Dallas who lead the conference on a points per game basis.  The Earthquakes will play a midweek game at home against Orlando before heading to Dallas for the Saturday match.  The Earthquakes other visit to Texas this season came after a midweek game also.  They lost that one to Houston 4-0, a result FCD would gladly accept again.  Chris Wondolowski continues his steady progress towards breaking numerous MLS records and he currently leads the side with four goals this year.

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