HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Following a run to the 2017 Western Conference Finals, the Houston Dynamo are ready to get the 2018 season underway as they host Atlanta Saturday.

Last season a new look Dynamo team led by first year manager Wilmer Cabrera returned to the post season and made some noise as they advanced to the Western Conference Finals.  This season the Dynamo return most of their pieces from a year ago as they look for another strong campaign.

Gone is last year’s leading scorer Erick Torres, but the Dynamo return the Honduran duo of Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto, while Mauro Manotas looks to take over the full time striker role.

2017 Dynamo MVP, Juan David Cabezas, returns in the defensive midfield in front of an experienced back line that returns DaMarcus Beasley, Philippe Senderos, Adolfo Machado and Leonardo.

Atlanta United is the first opponent for the Dynamo this season, and the Five Stripes enter the 2018 season on the heels of making multiple splashes in the offseason.

The club bought 18-year-old Argentinian Ezequiel Barca for 15 million dollars, the largest transfer fee in MLS history.  In addition to Barca, Atlanta United also made a trade to acquire Darlington Nagby from Portland.  The Five Stripes will be without Barca Saturday because of an injury.

Atlanta United made the playoffs in their expansion season a year ago, but fell in the knockout round to Columbus in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.  In addition to Barca and Nagby, the Five Stripes also return 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year Julian Gressel, 2017 Newcomer of the Year Miguel Almiron, Josef Martinez who scored 19 goals in 20 appearances and goalie Brad Guzan, who had eight shutouts in 14 starts after being acquired in the Summer transfer window.

Listen to Saturday’s match beginning with a 2 p.m. prematch show on Sports Radio 610.

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