Major League Soccer’s fifth round is an all-Saturday affair, with eight matches set for kickoff over about nine hours later today. Among the top matches … :
San Jose at Houston (8:30 p.m. ET):
First things first: Should this one have been part of MLS Rivalry Week earlier this month?
This one certainly seems more combustible than some of the, uh, “rivalries” presented on that MLS day of festive and feisty.
But here we are, and this one looks like a dandy. You cannot talk about San Jose, obviously, without mentioning Chris Wondolowski, the league’s scoring standard bearer since 2010. (Seriously, it’s like royal decree that you cannot talk about San Jose without mentioning about the fabulous marksman.)
“Wonder Wondo” has two goals through four matches this year, upping the career total to 70. But you just know the big breakout is coming. Four of his goals came while he was in Houston, a little know reservist back then.
Wondo’s links to Houston are just a small slice in this big pie of shared history. Houston was San Jose before San Jose was San Jose. (If that doesn’t make sense, study ye your Houston Dynamo history.)
The coaches are old chums, too. Houston’s Dominic Kinnear (pictured) mentored under San Jose’s Frank Yallop some years ago, then took over for his boss for a while at San Jose (before the club moved to Houston).
As for what’s going to happen today at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston:
The big news around Dynamo Land is this profitable streak of home games. Kinnear’s men can equal a league record all-time regular-season home unbeaten run. Real Salt Lake set the current mark (34 games) from 2009-11.
Several Houston players are coming off international duty, so we’ll see how much they have in the tank. Plus, former Colorado Rapids speedster Omar Cummings is available now for the Dynamo, finally having beaten the injury bug enough to get his career relaunch efforts goings.
San Jose has been admirable through its early injury crisis, still missing Mehdi Ballouchy, Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour and Marvin Chavez. It didn’t seem to bother the Earthquakes much in a nice win over Seattle last week. (Hit that link to see Wondolowski’s latest strike, a darn good one.)
The full match preview is here. It’s stacked with facts.
A video preview from CSN Houston is below …: