Texas derby brings “a bit of extra spice” with both sides now in Western Conference

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FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo now share a conference, and Major League Soccer would surely like to see the rivalry ignite on its way to a new level come Friday’s match down in Houston.

It’s a 3 1/2 hour drive separating the two sides, and just four points between them in the Western Conference standings. FC Dallas is 4-2-2 compared to Houston’s 2-2-4 mark, but don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it throw the record books out when it comes to the first Texas Derby of the year.

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Both teams are coming off draws, and either would relish a rivalry win as a potential jump-off for their summers.

Here’s two folks from the British Isles, Houston’s Giles Barnes and Owen Coyle, talking about Texas, from MLSSoccer.com:

“Playing against Dallas is always a good one; there’s always a bit of extra spice in it, a bit of extra tension, obviously, coming from the same state,” Barnes said. “Even though you’re 200 miles from each other, you still know that when you turn up for that game, it’s a local derby. It’s probably the closest thing you get to a rivalry like Nottingham Forest and Derby County. It’s local pride.”

That spice exists in a number of ways between the cities of Houston and Dallas. It’s a rivalry of proximity and tradition that manifests itself traditionally in all sports, most recently on the soccer field.

“I’m fully aware the rivalries … I feel I know about the rivalry, and with Dallas it’s the same thing,” said head coach Owen Coyle. “We know it’s a tough game. We know we can stand toe-to-toe. Of course it adds a little extra incentive and a little bit of spice to the game.”

Looking for a prediction? Alright, then. First off, I expect goals from both sides, but I think FC Dallas will have the edge until Cubo Torres arrives in Houston. Let’s speak again later this year, but tonight goes 3-2 to the visitors.