MLS: LA Galaxy - Houston Dynamo
I previewed Houston's trip to Orlando last weekend when my notes included ..............
"Dynamo replaced Owen Coyle with Wade Barrett for the rest of this season at the end of May and he has quickly make tightening up what was a leaky defence a priority and with him at the helm Houston have conceded just six goals in seven starts, after allowing 1.62 per game under Coyle. They are coming off a 1-0 home win over highflying Philadelphia Union, who are in second place in the Eastern Conference and afterwards opposing head coach Jim Curtain said that Dynamo were "organized and difficult to break down." They are starting to really build some confidence and we had already seen glimpses of their offensive potential in early season when they put five unaswered goals past FC Dallas and three over Red Bulls on the road, teams who were the best in each Conference last year. Now they need to put that all together in road games and tonight looks a good time to be facing City, who parted ways with head coach Adrian Heath on Tuesday after eight years at the club, he oversaw the franchise expansion into the MLS and was a key figure at OCFC. His number two has also left and two assistant coaches will take charge on an interim basis.
City are in a tough period and are coming off an extra time loss to NASL team Fort Lauderdale in the US Open Cup last midweek and 4-0 defeat in Dallas on Monday, which means a lot of travel, quick turnaround all added to the disruption over Heath leaving."
That game was a bit of a bore fest to be honest, but Dynamo were again well organised and defended well and had the best chance of the game, being denied by the woodwork in the 90th minute. That was another clean sheet and they are far removed from the team who were conceding so freely in early season. They have already posted road draws at Western Conference leaders FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps (who are both very strong at home) under Barrett and Dynamo will travel in good heart to LA where they have had some titanic battles, including two MLS Cup finals with Galaxy in recent years. The only defeat under the new coach did come out here in the West, when they lost 3-2 to Portland, that looks a bit of a throw back to the Coyle era as they led 2-0 early and blew their lead late, but Dynamo were the better team there, both of those late goals came via penalties and the second in injury time should never have been given and that had already been forced to substitute their goalkeeper at half time when leading by two.
They make the trip West without veteran left back DaMarcus Beasley who underwent minor surgery this week and will be out for a month, that is not good news, but the loss of Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong for Galaxy balances things out. The pair both sat out the 1-0 road win at Seattle last week and that was a great result under the circumstances, but Sounders were denied by some poor finishing, the woodwork and a whole host of desperate late blocks and challenges and should have got something from that, probably all three points. No issues with Galaxy as favourites, but Houston are priced too big for my money and I take the improving visitors to come away with yet another draw.......1-1.
Houston Dynamo +0.75 ball 2.09 asian line/Sportmarket
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