Surging Austin FC look to continue their new-found winning ways when they travel to play the Houston Dynamo on Saturday in the latest rendition of the Texas Derby.
Austin FC (4-5-4, 16 points) head south to face their in-state rivals on the strength of a two-match winning streak in league play that followed an eight-game winless run. Austin FC won at home last Saturday 1-0 against Toronto FC after Gyasi Zardes scored in second-half stoppage time.
Zardes scored Austin FC's game-winner for the second time in two contests.
"Even when I wasn't scoring, I was still confident, man. You have to be," Zardes said. "I've been doing this about 11 years professionally and I understand sometimes you go through phases when things are not going your way. You just have those spells where everything's going your way and sometimes everything's not."
Austin FC have produced their positive uptick while playing without last year's MVP runner-up Sebastian Driussi, who is injured and due back in June. It has been a demanding run for the club, with Saturday's visit Houston its seventh contest in 22 days.
Houston (4-5-3, 15 points) carries a four-match winless streak into the second meeting of the season between the two sides. The Dynamo beat Austin 2-0 at Houston on March 18, as the home team has won five of the six all-time matchups in the series.
Amine Bassi leads Houston with five goals while Hector Herrera has two goals and three assists.
Houston's most recent league game was a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas last Saturday. The Dynamo were able to split the points when Thor Ulfarsson scored the tying goal in the 85th minute.
"Our team grinded it out, and held on, with some really good work from the subs," Houston coach Ben Olsen said. "Thor came on and caused real havoc and was rewarded with the goal. That's the first goal we've had all year from our forwards."
Houston has scored just one goal and allowed thee in its four-game winless swoon and had not scored more than once in any of its past six contests. The Dynamo's 11 goals are is the fourth lowest output in the league but the team has been stingy as well, allowing just 11 goals (third fewest in MLS).
--Field Level Media