Preview: Houston Dynamo (h).
When? Saturday June 18, 4.30 p.m. PT, 7.30 p.m. ET and 00:30 BST (19/6).
Where? Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.
How can I catch the action? The game is being broadcast on MLS Live ESPN+ and DAZN for residents of North America. For residents of Central Florida, Fox 35 Plus and LionNation TV. Radio commentary is available on 96.9 The Game and Accion 97.9. The game is not currently scheduled for UK broadcast.
It's been a hot minute since Orlando City were last at home. It's been even longer since they last won at home. Orlando's home form has been something of a worry for a while now. A game against Houston Dynamo is possibly one of the best opportunities to put that right.
Dynamo's form is patchy at best, their 3-0 defeat to RSL came amidst a run of 2 wins in 8 MLS outings. They have been able to turn it on, on the road lately, however. As their recent 3-0 win at the LA Galaxy shows. If Orlando don't turn up, it's not hard to see Houston gazumping us.
So, without further ado, let's get stuck into this one.
Houston are a team that have yet to find any consistency in 2022 under new head coach Paulo Nagamura. You get the sense that they're yet to fully understand who they are as a team. They've been fairly solid defensively but have yet to find any real degree of consistency in their attacking play. Houston rank 18th for shots on target per match, 22nd for big chances created and 20th for goals per game (figure 1). You get the feeling that there's more to come from this team, though.
They're a team that likes to focus their attacks down the sides, particularly the right flank where 39% of their forays forward have originated from so far this season (figure 2). With the likes of Corey Baird and Zeca down the right flank, it will be important for Orlando to marshal that threat. Particularly with Sebastián Ferreira heading up the attack. The Paraguayan has hit the ground running in MLS with 5 goals and 3 assists in 12 games so far. Cutting off his supply line is going to be crucial.
Figure 1 shows Houston's goals per game average.
Figure 2 shows Houston's attack sides on the season so far.
Houston Dynamo are blessed with a near enough fully fit squad for this game, with only Zarek Valentin listed as out at the time of writing. Adalberto Carrasquilla is suspended.
As for Orlando City, Antonio Carlos, Mason Stajduhar and Silvester Van Der Water remain out. Benji Michel is listed as questionable.
This section will be updated as new information becomes available.
Edit 6/17: Benji Michel is no longer listed as questionable, whilst Rodrigo Schlegel is suspended for caution accumulation. Michael Halliday is on international duty.
Possible starting XI
Houston typically line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. They have an almost fully available squad to choose from, and they're coming off of a 3 week break, so I expect to see their strongest available XI, which should look a little something like this:
Quintero has been Houston's leading light this season, helping himself to 5 goals in 13 games. The forward has amassed 763 minutes, scoring every 153 minutes. He has a fotmob.com rating of 7.13 so far this season. The Colombian attacker has yet to record an assist so far this season, but the stats suggest that is on his teammates, as Quintero has created 24 chances so far this season, at a rate of just under 2 per game.
As I have already alluded to, Houston's form is a little patchy. They currently sit 8th in the western conference on a 5-3-6 record.
Orlando, on the other hand, currently sit 5th in the east and have only won 1 of the last 4 in league play.
*All statistics courtesy of fotmob.com and whoscored.com.
Cover image courtesy of Orlando City SC.
Top player image courtesy of Houston Dynamo.
Line-up graphic courtesy of chosen11.com.