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Downstream Game 5: Home against Houston Dynamo

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Dynamo Stats

2020 Record: 4-9-10 WLT, 21 points for 0.91 PPG

2021 Record: 2-2-1, 8 points for 1.60 PPG

Goals: 6 for, 5 allowed, +1 differential

Power Rankings: Dynamo #22 (-), Rapids #16 (+4)

Last Result: 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City

Let’s be real — last weekend’s win against Minnesota is maybe one of the greatest halves of soccer we have seen in Colorado Rapids history. It was one heck of a comeback amidst the rain and wind and cold. An epic three points to pick up, and credit to the team for bouncing back mentally and physically from being down by two at the half. Coming off of a comeback win and a good win against the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Rapids look to continue the winning streak. We’re at home once again this weekend as we look to play our third Texas team in five weeks, the Houston Dynamo.

The Dynamo, as usual, are in a situation where they seem to be trying to improve, but it hasn’t been enough. They ended their 2020 season in last place in the Western Conference, tied with Cincinnati for the fewest wins in the league with just four, but a not-catastrophic -10 goal differential. Heck, the San Jose Earthquakes qualified for playoffs and they had a -16 differential. Houston made a splash signing Tab Ramos who was the US U-20 national team head coach (who was in turn replaced by Anthony Hudson), who is now in his second full season as head coach.

Their offseason consisted mostly of shedding a lot of dead weight, followed by several intraleague transactions. Seven players had their contract options declined, one was out of contract, and three were traded. Incoming players in turn came mostly from trades within MLS, which resulting in the addition of Fafa Picault, Maxi Urruti, Tim Parker, and Derrick Jones from FC Dallas, Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls, and Nashville SC, respectively. They were involved with a trade with the Rapids during the Superdraft, which allowed us to get Philip Mayaka, while they chose defender Ethan Bartlow at #6. While they haven’t completely turned over their team, they are expecting to have certain players like DP Darwin Quintero take a step up — both individually and as a team — in 2021.

But that turnover hasn’t set them as definitively good or bad one way or another. They pulled out wins against San Jose and the inconsistent SKC, tied with a good LAFC and a decent Dallas team, but then dropped points against a struggling Portland Timbers team. The jury is still out for them. Could they be good? Certainly. Could they crater and take the wooden spoon? Also possible. But are they going to be Western Conference destroyers and overtake the Seattle Sounder as the de facto conference champions? Unlikely. Facing them should be a good benchmark for the Rapids.

Here’s the deal. Minnesota was a fantastic result, don’t get me wrong. But, at the same time, it wasn’t exactly the statement that the team wanted to make. Allowing two goals in the span of 10 minutes is a worrying trend, since we saw a similar but worse event happen against Austin FC. Houston, much like Vancouver, Minnesota, and arguably even Austin, is a team that we should be able to take three points from. We’ll be at home and the weather looks warmer but rainy as well.

Plus, Houston had a mid-week game against SKC, so we’ll have the rest advantage. We should be set for another good game this weekend and if the last 45 minutes of the Minnesota game was anything to go by, the team has a drive to win and the ability to do so.