Fire-Dynamo Preview

The Associated Press

The Houston Dynamo are in position to set a new MLS mark for consecutive home victories in all competitions.

Standing in their way is a Chicago Fire team that enters after a much-needed first victory.

These teams have not met since the Dynamo ended the Fire's season in last year's playoffs heading into Sunday's matchup.

Houston (3-2-0) has matched the MLS home unbeaten streak record in all competitions of 34 set by Real Salt Lake from 2009-11.

The Dynamo can tie the MLS regular-season record for longest home unbeaten streak of 29 set by RSL during the same period. They have not lost a home game in the MLS or international competition since dropping a 2-0 decision to Columbus on June 18, 2011.

"Looking back at it, it's an impressive accomplishment to see what these guys have done," coach Dominic Kinnear said. "We've always been a good team at home. But to be honest, we don't talk about it."

Houston is looking to bounce back from last Saturday's 2-0 loss at Portland, and it is happy to be home.

"People know that it's going to be a difficult game when they come here," midfielder Brad Davis said. "Mentally, I think first and foremost we're not an easy team to lay against and that's because of the work rate that everybody puts in for the full game."

Chicago (1-3-1) is 0-3-2 in its last five visits to Houston, and knows how hard Sunday's assignment will be with the temperature expected above 80 degrees with humid conditions.

"It's difficult, it's an environment where it's hot, obviously we're used to this cold Chicago weather," Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini said. "They're a good team. Obviously we know about their set plays and it's going to be a game where we have to be tuned in."

The Dynamo won 2-1 at Chicago the last time these teams met in October in an Eastern Conference knockout round game. Will Bruin scored both Houston goals.

Bruin, however, sat out last week's match with a hamstring injury while Boniek Garcia also missed the Portland contest with an Achilles problem. Their statuses are uncertain.

The Fire are getting healthier with Patrick Nyarko, Gonzalo Segares and Dilly Duka all likely to be available. Nyarko said he would be happy to come off the bench if it helps end Houston's streak.

"It would be incredible to be the team that ended their run," Nyarko told the Fire's official website. "We need to play smart."

Chicago rallied from a goal down for a 3-1 victory over New York last Sunday. Paladini scored the tying goal late in the first half before Maicon Santos added his first two of the season in the second half to take over the team lead.

The Fire had been outscored 9-1 during their 0-3-1 start.

"They made the playoffs last year, they really haven't changed a whole lot," Kinnear said. "Jeff Larentowicz and Joel Lindpere have been brought in to make them a better team and I think they are a better team."

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