By Jeremy Branham

Houston (CBS Houston) – Without breathing room in a crowded Western Conference playoff race two teams that are in the thick of contention meet in Houston on Saturday when the Dynamo host San Jose.

Both teams are currently above the red line in the West with the Dynamo (9-9-7, 34 points) in second place just three points behind first place Sporting Kansas City, but only three points ahead of seventh place Vancouver. San Jose (9-9-5, 32 points) currently sits in sixth place, one point ahead of Vancouver. The Western Conference is so congested that the top seven teams all have nine wins.

The Dynamo enter Saturday’s match undefeated in their last five, a stretch that dates back to July 5th.   The defense has been strong in those five matches with two clean sheets, but the club has won just two of the five.

BBVA Compass Stadium has been one of the best home field advantages in the MLS this year as the Dynamo are 8-0-3 at home, that home record is the only undefeated home record in the West. Toronto FC and Chicago are the only two teams in the Eastern Conference that are undefeated at home.

San Jose has struggled on the road with a 2-8-1 away record. Their seven road points are the fewest of any Western Conference team in the top nine of the standings.

The Quakes have won their last two MLS competition matches, a 2-1 win over Columbus last week, and shutout Colorado 1-0 the week before that.

One thing to keep in mind is that San Jose lost to Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday in penalty kicks. San Jose played most of their regulars in that match.

Saturday will mark the second time these teams play this season. On April 22nd, the Dynamo shut out San Jose 2-0. Erick Torres scored on a penalty kick in the first 10 minutes of the match, and then Alberth Elis sealed the match with a 72nd minute goal.

Listen to Saturday’s match beginning with a 7:30 p.m. pregame show on Sports Radio 610.


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