Houston (CBS Houston) – In the first of two matches this week, the Dynamo look to retain El Capitan while also increasing the gap between themselves and FC Dallas in a Western Conference that is more congested than I-45.
Last year the Dynamo won the Texas Derby after going 1-1-1 against FC Dallas, but took home the cannon thanks to a 5-0 win early in the season to give the Dynamo the series win based on goal differential.
FC Dallas would get the last laugh as they won the Supporters’ Shield, but fell short losing to Seattle in the playoffs.
This year’s Texas Derby, and the third and final match between the two teams, not only will decide who takes El Capitan home but carries a lot of implications in the Western Conference playoff race.
The Dynamo (10-8-7, 37 points) currently sit in third place, while FC Dallas (9-6-8, 35 points) sits in fifth. FC Dallas has played just 23 matches though, which is at least two less than every team above them in the standings.
Both Texas clubs will be looking to get back on track. Last Saturday, the Dynamo lost to Vancouver which snapped their six match undefeated streak. FC Dallas has had it worse as they are in the midst of a four match winless streak after they lose their last match against Sporting Kansas City, 2-0.
The Dynamo will get the services of Alberth Elis back after serving a one game suspension because of yellow card accumulation. Goal leader Erick Torres, Ricardo Clark and Vicente Sanchez will also be available for selection after they didn’t make the trip to Vancouver.
The team will he without a pair of their best defensive players as both A.J. DeLaGarza and Juan David Cabezas will serve a one match suspension for yellow card accumulation.
FC Dallas is led by Maxi Urrutti, who has scored 11 goals on the season. While FC Dallas hasn’t been in their best form, they are healthy and without suspension before Wednesday’s match.
Neither team has won a match in the first couple of games in this season’s Texas Derby as both matches have ended in draws. If there is a winner in Wednesday’s match that club will claim the cannon, a draw would mean the Dynamo keep El Capitan, unless the teams meet in the playoffs.
Listen to Wednesday’s match beginning with a 6:30 p.m. prematch show on CBS Sports Radio 650.