Houston Dynamo

Your Saturday Kickoff: Predicting how Matchday 10 storylines will unfold | MLSSoccer.com


Houston Dynamo star Héctor Herrera could return vs. Austin FC

Houston Dynamo FC could receive a massive reinforcement for Saturday's Copa Tejas rivalry clash with Austin FC at Shell Energy Stadium (8:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). Star midfielder Héctor Herrera has returned to training from his early-season injury and could make his 2024 debut for the Matchday 10 fixture.

We could try and “analyze” the upcoming games today, but you could get that in a few different places on The Mothership or over on Apple TV. We’re going to be braver than that. Better than that. Bolder than that.

Here are a few predictions for today guaranteed to come true.

Orlando score late to steal points from CF Montréal

The Cardiac Cats are back. After last week’s late comeback win over D.C. United, the Lions are going to go through one of those spells where they seem to pull points out of nowhere. Montréal were good last week in a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati, but they’ll be without forwards Matías Cóccaro and Josef Martínez in this one. That’s a recipe for a game that stays quiet until the end. With the game staying close, we know what Orlando are going to do.

D.C. United and Christian Benteke take care of business (finally)

D.C. have made a habit of losing leads. I’m going to guess they’re sick of hearing about it. Well, they’ll get a break from it this week against New York City FC. Their direct style of play - the “Christian Benteke’s down there somewhere” game model - will work just fine on the smaller pitch at Citi Field. Benteke will get a goal or two, D.C. will take a lead they’re finally able to hold onto and we can keep pointing to D.C.'s excellent underlying numbers so far without feeling like the numbers are starting to lie to us.

Columbus and Portland give us five goals

I’m not sure how much the Crew will rotate before their CCC matchup with Monterrey on Wednesday, but I’m going to guess we get a muted version of their normal lineup. That’s not going to slow them down in attack. Not against a Portland side that’s allowed 11 goals in the last four games.

But don’t count out the Timbers either. Portland have scored eight goals over those four games. Evander is playing at an elite level. There are plenty of goals in this one.

Lucho Acosta scores against Atlanta United

Per the game notes for this one, Acosta has scored eight times in his career against Atlanta. He’s scored against the Five Stripes more than any other team. I looked that particular note up because I thought he’d scored more like 20 times. It feels like it at least.

That trend doesn’t die today. Cincy are leaning on Lucho in attack even more than normal right now and he’s going to get his. Even if Atlanta United end up getting the win. Actually, lock that in too. Lock it all in. This is not the time for cowardice.

A big night for Houston

The vibes are too high for Houston to fall short tonight. Héctor Herrera is probably back. Ben Olsen just got a contract extension. And they’ve won four of their last five. Austin have been mostly keeping their head above water so far, but they’re due for a downturn. Dealing with Hell In The Shell right now isn’t ideal. The Dynamo roll and go top of the West for the night.

A red card in Sporting KC and St. Louis

“Friendship” is not the theme of the day.

MLS After Dark goes into overdrive

The 10:30 pm ET slot is sensational tonight. LAFC host the Red Bulls and Seattle host Vancouver. Neither of those games is necessarily set up for maximum chaos (especially Seattle-Vancouver) but the power of MLS After Dark is strong. These games are going to get weird and we’re all going to be better for it. Even if “weird” in the case of Seattle and Vancouver is that it ends 1-0 on a late goal rather than 0-0.

Real Salt Lake acquire Quinton from Columbus Crew: Real Salt Lake have acquired center back Philip Quinton from the Columbus Crew. In exchange for the 24-year-old defender, Columbus will receive $150,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) and an additional $50,000 in conditional GAM if certain performance incentives are met. Quinton, selected 25th overall in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, has one goal in 13 appearances with the Crew.

Good luck out there. See the world from a different view.

@J_SamJones

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