Houston Dynamo FC return to league play on Saturday when they visit Exploria Stadium for the first time to face Orlando City SC. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and he match will air live in English on AT&T SportsNet and in Spanish on TeleXitos 47.2.
The Dynamo hosted Club de Atletico San Luis last Saturday for the 11th edition of the Dynamo Charities Cup. Forward Tyler Pasher scored the lone goal of the game in the second half to give Houston their sixth triumph in the Charities Cup.
Defensively, Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark and Dynamo Academy product Xavier Valdez combined for a clean sheet against San Luis. Houston ultimately used 23 players on Saturday with the bulk of the substitutions entering the game in the second half. Saturday’s victory over San Luis also featured the first team debut of Micael and Diego Gonzalez. Both players have spent the majority of the year with Dynamo 2, who travel to Oregon on Sunday to face Portland Timbers 2.
Orlando returned to league play on Wednesday evening and salvaged a point on the road against the New England Revolution. Defender Robin Jansson scored the equalizer nearly 15 minutes after the Lions conceded the opening goal of the game to Carles Gil.
With the draw, Orlando enters Saturday’s game in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-5-4 (WLD) record. The Lions aim to snap a three-game winless streak in league play on Saturday. Their last victory was a 1-0 triumph on the road against Toronto FC on May 14.
Five players return from international duty on Saturday for Orlando. Pedro Gallese returned to action on Wednesday after Monday’s penalty shootout with Australia in Qatar. Additionally, Sebas Méndez returns after a pair of appearances with Ecuador against Nigeria and Mexico.
Saturday’s match is the first meeting between both sides since Houston earned a 2-1 victory on Sept. 21, 2019, in downtown Houston. The Dynamo hold a slight edge in the all-time series with a 2-1-2 (WLD) record against Orlando. Orlando’s lone victory in the series came on March 13, 2015 in Houston.
The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Saturday, June 25 to host Xherdan Shaqiri and Chicago Fire FC.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s game:
- DYNAMO KEEP FRESH WITH TUNE UP: Houston returns to league play on Saturday after a 21-day break. The team switched gears last weekend in preparation for Saturday’s match with a friendly against Club Atletico de San Luis, which gave every player on the roster an opportunity to keep fresh after the longest break of the season. In total, 23 players saw action against a San Luis team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2022 Clausura in Mexico. Houston will now tackle the next portion of the season which will run through the middle of September. The league will take a short pause before two final rounds of regular season games in the first half of October.
- DYNAMO PLAYERS RETURN FROM INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Nine players return from international duty on Saturday. Darwin Ceren earned his 86th appearance for El Salvador over the break and now holds the most caps for La Selecta. Zarek Valentin scored a goal in Puerto Rico’s victory over the Cayman Islands on June 9. Adalberto Carrasquilla finished with two appearances for Panama who defeated Martinique 5-0 on Jun 9 and was held scoreless in a 0-0 draw in the return leg against Martinique on June 12. Thor Ulfarsson joined Iceland’s U-21 National Team and a pair of Dynamo homegrown players in Juan Castilla and Brooklyn Raines joined the U-19 U.S. Men’s National Team in Spain.
- ORLANDO RESCUE A POINT AWAY FROM HOME: Orlando defender Robin Jansson gave the Lions a split of the points on Wednesday in Foxborough as the team played New England to a 1-1 draw. The defender recovered the ball inside the final third and dribbled to the endline to create space for a shot. This was the first goal of the season for the defender and his shot beat the Revolution goalkeeper at the bottom corner of the far post. Orlando enters Saturday’s game with a 1-2-2 record against teams in the Western Conference.