Have a Beer on Us! On April 26, #DCU returns to #RFK and we're offering 1 ticket + 1 beer for $27: http://t.co/QZyZFg3Umo

VW Keys to the Match: D.C. United vs Houston Dynamo

Catch Houston sleeping, capitalize on chances, protect the net

Lionard Pajoy vs Houston Dynamo

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

Embarking on its first of four games in 18 days, D.C. United will take on the Houston Dynamo in a rare mid-week game, a rematch of 2012’s Eastern Conference Finals. Houston is one of four teams sitting atop the Eastern Conference with 17 points, and United will have a tough task at home on Wednesday (7:00 p.m; CSN+ / NewsChannel 8).

Houston on short rest

Following a Sunday night game (11:00 p.m. ET) against the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in LA, the Houston Dynamo hopped on a cross-country flight to D.C. and will train just one day between the two matchups. The Dynamo will undoubtedly be weary, tired and nursing heavy legs, so it is important to start the game quickly and take control.

Capitalize on chances created

Having been held scoreless in three of its previous four games, it is crucial that the Black-and-Red to convert on opportunities it creates. Not only has United dominated possession in four of its last five matches, but the squad outshot the Columbus Crew on 4/27 and the Philadelphia Union on 4/21. With a passing accuracy at or exceeding 80% in the same span, it’s clear that the Black-and-Red is dictating the rhythm of play, so the next step is capitalizing on its own attacking prowess.

Defend well

With the Houston Dynamo finding the back of the net 13 times this year (only the Red Bulls, Sporting KC, FC Dallas, and the Portland Timbers have notched more goals), D.C. United’s back four must be up to the task at home. Additionally, six of the last seven goals the Black-and-Red has conceded has come before the 30-minute mark, so it is critical to not give up the early goal. By shutting down Houston going forward, the Black-and-Red will be in a prime spot to earn points in this tilt.