The Philadelphia Union's defense has buckled during a rough stretch, while the Houston Dynamo are having a difficult time scoring during their longest losing streak in nearly four years.
Both clubs will try to end their woes in Saturday's matchup at Philadelphia.
The Union (1-2-4) have allowed two goals four times during an 0-2-3 stretch since their lone victory over New England on March 15. They appeared to outplay New York in some respects in Wednesday's 2-1 road loss, holding a 52.6 percent edge in possession and completing 83.0 percent of their passes compared to 77.0 for the Red Bulls.
However, they surrendered the two goals 10 minutes apart early in the second half, only responding with Sebastien Le Toux's score in the 80th minute on a penalty kick. Philadelphia was unable to find the equalizer despite New York playing with 10 men for the closing minutes.
Manager John Hackworth's club has surrendered 42 shots over its last three matches, with 19 coming on goal. The Union limited opponents to 42 shots and eight on goal in their first four.
"You look at the plays we got right in this game and then we let those kinds of goals happen…it's just not good enough," Hackworth told the team's website. "When I looked back at those two goals (postgame) in the locker room, I see breakdowns. I see our back line get pulled apart when we want to make sure that they are staying compact... At the end of the day, we feel like we played well but they were just better in the box than we were."
Meanwhile, the Dynamo (2-3-0) have dropped three in a row for the first time since a four-match losing streak from Aug. 28-Sept. 22, 2010. They're continuing a three-game East Coast swing after last Saturday's 2-0 loss at New England, where they allowed a goal in the 68th minute and another in stoppage time.
They failed to record a shot on goal for the first time since a 3-0 defeat at Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 10, 2011.
Houston has been outscored 8-2 since outscoring its opponents 5-0 in two victories to open the season. Will Bruin - who led the team with 10 goals in 2013 - scored three times in his first two games with seven shots, but is scoreless since on four shots with just one coming on goal. He has failed to score in seven career games against Philadelphia.
"I think the games that we've lost we've had spells where we've played some good stuff," Bruin told the team's website. "Obviously the results aren't going the way we'd like, but every single year this team will go through bad droughts. I'd rather do it now than come summer or later. Once we figure it out and get a result it'll be like a waterfall and we'll starting play more confident and free and getting more wins."
The Dynamo will be looking to continue their recent success in the series after winning six of the last seven meetings with the Union. They're also 2-1-2 all-time at Philadelphia.
Ricardo Clark, who is responsible for Houston's last two goals, accounted for both goals in two 1-0 victories over the Union last season.