It wasn't long ago when the Houston Dynamo seemed to be unstoppable at home with the longest unbeaten streak in MLS history.
Now the reeling Dynamo will try to avoid matching the franchise's worst losing streak there Saturday night when they host Toronto FC, which seeks rare back-to-back victories.
The Dynamo (6-5-4) outscored opponents 57-23 and won 21 times during a record 30-game undefeated regular-season run in league play from July 9, 2011 - April 28, 2013.
They've since dropped their two MLS games in Houston, leaving them one shy of equaling their team-worst home stretch set in 2010.
Without key players Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis due to international duties, Houston also lost 2-0 at Eastern Conference-leading Montreal on Wednesday and fell to 0-3-2 in its last five MLS matches overall.
Many of the team's troubles have stemmed from a struggling attack that has been shut out three times and totaled two goals over the last five matches. The Dynamo had scored 17 times while going 6-2-2 in their first 10 contests.
They'll try to avoid their worst winless drought since a seven-game stretch in 2011.
"Personally, I think (it's a must-win) and that's the consensus around the team," striker Will Bruin told the league's official website. "You never panic, we're not panicking, but this is a big game for us to try and get back on the right track."
Houston, tied for third in the East with 22 points, is 2-0-3 in the series' last five meetings following a 1-all draw in Toronto on April 20.
Toronto (2-7-5) took an early second-half lead on a goal by Jeremy Hall before Houston's Warren Creavalle answered with the game-tying tally deep into stoppage time.
Creavalle and Brad Davis have accounted for the only goals during the Dynamo's winless streak, and Davis is expected to return in this match following a nearly monthlong absence.
Garcia is also likely to play after missing two matches due to international competition.
Toronto has a chance to win consecutive MLS matches for the first time since a three-game run July 11-18. Toronto ended its 11-game league winless streak with a 2-1 road win over D.C. United last Saturday.
Robert Earnshaw ended a seven-game scoreless drought with his team-leading sixth goal before D.C. defender Daniel Woolard knocked the ball into his own net in the 41st minute to give Toronto its first victory since March 9.
After scoring three times in its six previous road contests, Toronto hopes to build on its only multigoal road game despite being credited with just one shot on net.
"We have to learn how to win at this club," coach Ryan Nelsen said. "Sometimes it hurts before it gets better."
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- Houston Dynamo
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