Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Rebounding RSL takes aim at struggling Houston

Field Level Media
31 Jul 2021, 10:25 GMT+10

The Houston Dynamo aim to halt an eight-game winless stretch when they host Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

The Dynamo (3-4-8, 17 points) haven't won since May 22 against the Vancouver Whitecaps as they look to end their drought. Houston is 0-2-6 during the stretch.

"We need to change our mentality of being a tying team to a winning team," Dynamo midfielder Griffin Dorsey said.

Houston had a chance to post a win during last Saturday's 1-1 tie against the host San Jose Earthquakes. Matias Vera scored his second goal of the season in the 40th minute but the Dynamo put the ball in their own net in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time to account for San Jose's only tally.

Real Salt Lake (5-4-5, 20 points) is coming off a solid 3-0 home win over the Colorado Rapids.

A Colorado own goal got Salt Lake on the board in the 14th minute before Bobby Wood (30th) and Rubio Rubin (76th) added goals. Wood's goal was his first in the MLS, while Rubin has five this season, second on the squad behind Damir Kreilach's seven.

"We fought hard and we have to keep that mentality as a team," Wood said. "That's all we really need to keep doing. That's what counts."

Rubin had gone eight games without a goal before breaking out of the slump against the Rapids.

The game's importance is magnified because Salt Lake is just above the playoff line in seventh place in the Western Conference. Houston is in ninth place with the Portland Timbers (19 points) between the two clubs.

Houston made a move on Friday by acquiring forward Corey Baird from Los Angeles Football Club for $750,000 in allocation money.

The 25-year-old Baird has three goals and two assists in 14 appearances (nine starts) this season.

"Corey is a versatile attacking player with a relentless work rate," Dynamo coach Tab Ramos said in a statement. "He fits perfectly into the team we are continuing to build. He will be a key piece as we continue to fight for a playoff spot down the stretch."

Salt Lake is highly familiar with Baird, who had 15 goals and 13 assists in 83 matches (61 starts) with the team over the past three seasons before being dealt to LAFC in January.

Maximiliano Urruti leads Houston with six goals.

--Field Level Media

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