After teaming up at the World Cup, Brad Davis and Michael Bradley are set to go toe-to-toe Saturday night.
Davis and the Houston Dynamo try to snap a season worst-tying six-game winless funk as they visit Bradley and Toronto FC.
The two midfielders are back with their respective MLS clubs after the United States fell 2-1 in extra time to Belgium in the round of 16. Davis' return proved pivotal for Houston (5-10-3), which had dropped five straight league games before playing to a 2-all draw against New York last Friday.
The Dynamo, who had been outscored 13-0 during their losing streak, finally picked up a point thanks to Davis' tying penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
"I was excited to be back in this group and playing again," he told MLS' official website. "It was a lot of fun and (I'm now) looking forward to building on what we did the other night."
Bradley's first game back with Toronto (6-5-3) resulted in a 2-1 loss to D.C. last Saturday. He appeared to have a good scoring chance in the 34th minute, but his shot sailed wide.
"I felt good, excited to be back," Bradley said. "I'm disappointed that the game went the way it did, because this was a big game against a team close to us in the table and it would have been nice to capitalize."
Despite last weekend's effort, Houston - especially Davis - knows how dangerous Bradley can be.
"His movement's good, he's all over the field," Davis said. "If we can limit his touches in the final third and keep him maybe facing his goal in their half, that's going to be very important. He's the engine of that midfield for them so it's going to be a tough battle for all of us. If we can win that battle we have a good chance to win the game."
Toronto, which had gone unbeaten in its previous six games, has been limited to five goals during an 0-2-4 stretch against the Dynamo.
"It's about getting back out there and getting moving again, getting your head back and focusing on the job at hand, which is obviously a very tough game on Saturday against Houston," captain Steven Caldwell said.
After this game, these teams meet again in Houston next Saturday. While the Dynamo are idle between matches, Toronto hosts Vancouver on Wednesday.
"In any league, especially the MLS, there's lots of parity between all the teams," Caldwell added. "We know that they're not going to be an easy team. We then go there the next Saturday so we play them in quick succession; it will be a nice little series, two tough games.
"It's a real important time for us to kick on and creep up a couple places."
Toronto is in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points, three ahead of Houston.
The Dynamo are 1-7-1 away from home after dropping four straight. They won 4-1 at Chivas USA on May 3 but have managed one goal in their other eight road games.