The Houston Dynamo can tab a big reason for their success thus far to some stellar play at home. It's on the road where they need to improve.
Looking to avoid a third consecutive road defeat, the Dynamo try to hand Minnesota United FC its first home loss of the season on Saturday night.
Houston (7-2-2) improved to 6-0-2 at home with a 2-1 victory over D.C. United last Saturday. Memo Rodriguez and Tommy McNamara scored one minute apart in the second half to help the Dynamo erase a 1-0 deficit and continue their success at BBVA Compass Stadium.
"It was a very good response by the players," coach Wilmer Cabrera told the Dynamo's official website. "I'm really proud of them."
The key for Cabrera's side now is to find a way to get things going away from home, where Houston has played all but three of its games on the MLS slate. The Dynamo opened the road portion of their schedule with a 4-1 victory at Colorado on March 30, but lost 2-1 at league-leading Los Angeles FC and 1-0 at Seattle to follow.
Twice last season Houston lost at least three straight on the road while going 2-10-5 in that department. That included a 2-1 loss at Minnesota, where the Dynamo also played to a scoreless draw in 2017.
Minnesota (5-4-3) improved to 2-0-3 on its home pitch after a 1-0 victory over Columbus last weekend. Ex-Crew member Ethan Finlay scored in the 70th minute for the Loons, who have conceded just one goal in their last four home contests.
"I'm really pleased for the players," coach Adrian Heath told Minnesota's official website. "And, it's another game without a defeat at home, so we can build."
In attempting to do so, United might be without veteran midfielder Kevin Molino, who felt some tightness in his hamstring during this week's friendly against Hertha Berlin. Molino was among the starting XI against Columbus, and his status is uncertain for this matchup.
Houston veteran DaMarcus Beasley has featured just once during the MLS season while recovering from knee surgery, but he could be ready for more action in what will be his final MLS campaign. Beasley, who turns 37 on Friday, officially announced this week that he will retire at the end of the season.
Beasley began his pro career with Chicago in 2000, has made 126 international appearances and was the first member of United States men's national team to appear in four World Cups. He's been with Houston since returning to MLS in 2014.
"It feels like home," Beasley said. "I'm so grateful to be a part of this club."