Dynamo-Whitecaps FC Preview

The Associated Press

While Will Bruin has opened the season on a tear offensively, the Houston Dynamo have yet to give up a goal in their first two games.

Now they'll likely face their toughest test in their first road game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, one of four unbeaten teams in the Western Conference.

Bruin looks to become the first player in franchise history to score in each of the first three games as the Dynamo go for their first 3-0 start Saturday.

After producing two goals and an assist to lead Houston to a 4-0 home win over New England in the season opener, Bruin scored again in a 1-0 victory over visiting Montreal on March 15.

Bruin, who had 26 goals over the previous two seasons, is tied for the league lead this year after becoming the first Dynamo player since Brian Ching in the inaugural 2006 season to score in each of the first two games.

The forward has a goal and an assist in three career meetings with the Whitecaps (1-0-2). Giles Barnes scored the equalizer in the 56th minute and Bruin assisted on the go-ahead goal six minutes later in 2-1 road win last March 23, handing Vancouver its first loss of that season.

"They try to get behind you with their two forwards, Bruin and Barnes," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said. "If we can eliminate that and put our stamp on the midfield and outnumber them in the central areas, we can play our attacking football."

Vancouver will try to keep playing solid defense in front of David Ousted, who needed three saves to record the shutout in a draw with New England last Saturday. Ousted has allowed two goals this season.

Darren Mattocks and highly rated teenager Kekuta Manneh - one of the team's top substitutes - add to the Whitecaps' potent attack. Mattocks has three goals in two career meetings with the Dynamo, scoring twice in a 3-1 win in the most recent matchup in Vancouver on June 10, 2012.

"As long as we stick together as a back line as we've been doing and just kind of eliminate space in behind, I think we can nullify them throughout the match," Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie told the team's official website.

The Dynamo are expected to have midfielders Brad Davis and Tony Cascio back for this meeting after the injured pair benefited from the bye week.

The Dynamo's Tally Hall has registered five saves on the way to back-to-back shutouts, though he's given up four goals in two career losses in Vancouver. Houston has never recorded shutouts in each of its first three games.

Amid an 8-1-3 stretch against East opponents, Vancouver could get defender Jay DeMerit back after the 34-year-old captain rested last week.

The teams have split four all-time meetings, with the home team winning each.

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