Chivas USA has long been relegated to the role of spoiler, and in recent weeks, the Goats have done a solid job of preventing playoff hopefuls from collecting all three points. Another opportunity to do so again has presented itself Saturday night in Texas.
Chivas heads to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the Houston Dynamo, a side that has bounced in and out of the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture in its attempt to reach a third consecutive MLS Cup final.
Houston snapped a four-game winless skid with a much-needed 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union last weekend, and with the club's integral pieces returning to health, so too has a brighter outlook for its postseason aspirations. Houston is back in the playoff places by virtue of the win, sitting in fourth place but just a point clear of fifth-place Chicago and sixth-place Philadelphia and three points ahead of seventh-place New England.
With left back Corey Ashe being cleared from the injury report and center back Eric Brunner and winger Andrew Driver being upgraded to "questionable," manager Dom Kinnear is closer to having a full deck from which to choose. Ricardo Clark's return to the starting lineup last week coincided with him scoring the game-winning goal against the Union.
Chivas will look to derail Houston's apparent resurgence, much like it was able to do in holding Portland and Vancouver to draws and defeating New York all in the last month. Despite being rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference, Chivas has lost just once in its last five games and has shown signs of life after a dreadful stretch that saw the club win one game between April 13 and Aug. 21.
The Goats will take to the road with a primarily healthy first-choice squad, with the likes of forward Erick Torres, goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and center back Carlos Bocanegra all fit to take on the Dynamo. Defender Carlos Borja won't be available, though, as he is suspended due to card accumulation.
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- Houston Dynamo
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