September 5, 2012
A look at the upcoming game
Real Salt Lake (14-10-4, 46 pts) @ Houston Dynamo (11-7-9, 42 pts), 8:30 pm ET (TV)
Real Salt Lake have never won a game in the state of Texas. They’ll give it another try on Thursday, against the formidable Houston Dynamo, who have a 21-game home unbeaten streak and an unblemished record at their new BBVA Compass Stadium. The teams have been moving in opposite directions recently, RSL with a three-game unbeaten and shutout streak and the Dynamo winless in four (0-2-2), and facing the very real possibility of falling out of playoff contention in the MLS East. Of greater concern to the Dynamo is a recent defensive collapse that has seen them allow eight goals in the last four games, three of them in a 3-1 loss to Chicago last Sunday. RSL edged DC United 1-0 last weekend, their second straight defensive shutout. Will Johnson scored the goal, but Paulo Jr. did the heavy lifting. Canada-born Johnson is one of three Salt Lake starters – the others being captain Kyle Beckerman (USA) and scoring leader Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) – who are on national team duty and will miss Thursday’s match. Houston’s in the same fix, with DP Boniek Garcia (Honduras), defenders Andre Hainault (Canada) and Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica), as well as midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica) all absent for World Cup qualifying. Salt Lake also will be without suspended defender Chris Wingert (yellow card accumulation).