It was a crazy week for me, so I wasn’t able to get a match preview done before the scheduled 6:30pm kickoff on Saturday for the RSL at Houston Dynamo match, but crazy also can describe the weather in Houston and due to severe weather in the area the match was delayed until Sunday morning/afternoon with a 12:00 kickoff.
So that means I have enough time to put together a quick match preview for you. RSL went into Colorado last weekend with a chance to secure the 2016 version of the Rocky Mountain Cup, but the Rapids aren’t a pushover anymore. Despite doing most things right, RSL looked a bit off all night, it may have been the awful weather, a early second half play by the Rapids found a wide open Jermaine Jones in the area and he put the ball in the back of the net for the only goal of the night.
So now RSL needs to put that behind them and take advantage of the struggling Dynamo, who have a 2-6-2 record so far this year and are just 2-1-2 at home. They Dynamo are also coming off a busy week that saw them on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline in San Jose on Wednesday, so while an extra few hours of rest may help them RSL should still be the much fresher team.
They Dynamo have shown they can score goals in bunches with 17 scored in their 10 matches so far but they also give up a lot of goals with 19 allowed. Last weekend was the first time this season that RSL was held without a goal this season, in fact in 6 of RSL’s 9 matches this season they have scored two goals, while RSL has only given up 2 or more gals 3 times this season. So this should be a match where we see some goals scored, and they will like come from the run of play. Houston has allowed 9 goals from open play, while scoring 11 that way, and RSL has scored 5 from open play while giving up 8. So what do I think RSL needs to do in order to pick up the win on Sunday?
- Keep the ball on the ground – They Dynamo will have a height advantage so it probably will serve RSL well to keep the ball on the ground and force the Dynamo to deal with their passes and play on the ball. This season the Dynamo keepers have made a lot of mistakes, in fact both of the red cards shown to Houston have been to Tyler Deric, mighty impressive for a guy who has only played in 3 matches. He will be suspended for this match, so RSL will face Joe Willis who’s GAA is 2.06
- Stay with your man – so far this season Houston hasn’t had a go to guy, of their 7 players to score goals this season 5 have multiple goals. This means you have to keep your eyes open and ensure you know where your man is at all times. Only 4 guys on the Dynamo roster have ever scored against RSL it would be nice to not allow anyone else to add their names to that list.
- Javi is the guy, in 14 matches against Houston Javier Morales has scored 7 goal and has 7 assists. With Javi still regaining fitness after an early season injury this could be a match were he could add to his lone goal of the season or pick up his first assist of the season. A healthy Joao Plata should make both of those things easier as I expect we may see Plata back in the starting lineup on Sunday.
This is the first time RSL has had a match delayed to another day in MLS action, that can be very disruptive as could a very early start time on Sunday but it fits in well with the time RSL is usually practicing so I expect they will be just fine. This is a road match that RSL should win and as the 2nd of 5 on the road a win would be a great boost to make the rest of the road stretch easier. I am going with a bit of a wild match in this one and am going with a 3-2 shootout with RSL coming out on top.
That’s How I See It