Preview: Houston Dynamo @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC


Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

2 games. 2 wins. 5 goals. 6 points. 1 undefeated 2014 Houston soccer franchise.

That sums up what the Dynamo have done so far this season and they look to extend their perfect 2014 record on Saturday when they travel north of the border to face the also undefeated Vancouver Whitecaps.

Since Vancouver entered the league in 2011, they have played the men in orange four times, winning two and losing two. The Dynamo won the last encounter between these two sides 2-1 thanks to second half goals from Giles Barnes and Warren Creavalle at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Both sides will be looking to keep their early season momentum going with a win on Saturday and gain a lead in the head-to-head series. (Who wants to be losing to Canada? Not me!)


Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-2) 5 points

Vancouver welcome the traveling Dynamo as one of the four unbeaten teams in the Western Conference, having won one and drawn two games so far this season.

Their win though, was one of the more impressive early displays of the season, knocking off the defending Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, 4-1 thanks to two goals from their Designated Player and former Scottish international, Kenny Miller, and a goal each from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales.

After that opening day statement, the Whitecaps went on the road to Chivas USA where Kekuta Manneh rescued a point for them with a second half goal,. They then traveled across the continent to New England where they fought to a goalless tie, thanks to a string of impressive saves from their goalkeeper David Ousted.

Now Vancouver head home to try and make it two wins from two home games this season, but they will have to do it without one of their midfielders as Nigel Reo-Coker picked up a concussion in an off-field incident earlier in the week.

Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson will likely bring Designated Player Pedro Morales into the starting eleven to make his second start of the season and may bring Jay DeMerit back into the defense after choosing to rest him last week against the Revolution.

Houston Dynamo (2-0-0) 6 points

The Eastern Conference leaders (I like the way that sounds) will take their undefeated record on the road for the first time this season, and they’re going to need their passports.

After demolishing New England 4-0 and squeezing by Montreal 1-0 in the first two games of the season, the Dynamo will have their first taste of Western Conference competition against the Whitecaps.

The Dynamo announced earlier this week that three players will be sent on loan to Pittsburgh and will have the option to recall them should a rash of injuries come over the team (QUICK! Someone knock on wood!). Let’s hope we don’t have to see them for that reason anytime soon.

Now the first part of any plan to gaining points on the road is to keep a clean sheet, so Tally Hall and the Dynamo defense should be extra focused this week to prevent them from having to pick the ball out of their net for the first time this season.

If they can do that, then I like the odds of the Dynamo attack to grab a goal or two after battering their opponents with 33 shots in their first two games this season. Will Bruin is second in MLS with six shots on goal so far this season.

Bruin has converted three of those shots on goal into actual goals, which is great for his confidence moving forward. Already at 30% of his total goals from last year, the Dancing Bear will look to keep banging in the goals and help the Dynamo on their way to three more points this Saturday.


Vancouver: Reo-Coker (out), Ballouchy (out)

Houston: Brunner (out)


Vancouver: GK- Ousted; Def- Beitashour, O’Brien, DeMerit, Harvey; Mid- Teibert, Morales, Laba, Fernandez; Fwd- Miller, Mattocks

Houston: GK- Hall; Def – Ashe, Horst, Taylor, Sarkodie; Mid – Davis, Clark, Garcia, Cascio; Fwd – Giles Barnes, Will Bruin.


Two teams enter. One may win. That team will be the Dynamo as goals from Brad Davis and Will Bruin make sure the men in orange bring a nice souvenir back from Canada in the shape of three points and continue their march towards an undefeated season (is it too early to start that talk?) Regardless, Houston put a whipping on New England, who Vancouver tied, and I think that bodes well for the Dynamo. I know it doesn’t always translate like that in soccer, but if the Dynamo can put a solid 90 minutes together like they have the first two games of this season, then I see the good guys going into BC Place and winning 2-1.

Follow House of Houston: @HouseOfHouston

Follow Hal Kaiser: @MIBS98

Follow Euan Leith: @EuanOrYouOut