Streaking Dynamo Visit Struggling RSL

by TJ Boyce – August 4, 2007

Houston Dynamo (10-5-4) at Real Salt Lake (1-9-6)
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT
9:00 p.m. ET - DK, MLSLive.TV

The Houston Dynamo visit Freddy Adu-less Real Salt Lake on Saturday night in Utah, hoping to ride their streak of 11 straight unbeaten games to another victory.

Houston comes into the Western Conference clash having not lost a league match since late May. On the strength of two straight months of positive results, the Dynamo have assumed their place at the head of the league with 34 points, with the Men in Orange outpacing intra-state rivals FC Dallas by four points in the West.

The team’s fine form did not take a break during play in the group stage of SuperLiga 2007, with Houston going 2-0-1 en route to winning Group B. In the semi-finals, they will face Pachuca, a team they are becoming very familiar with after playing Los Tuzos to a thrilling 5-4 loss on-aggregate earlier this year in the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.

Real Salt Lake is at the other end of the MLS spectrum, having earned the least amount of points on the year. But RSL has some success to build on, after defeating Everton and fighting Boca Juniors to a tie in international friendlies played late last month. In their last league action, RSL hung with the New England Revolution for most of the game, only to see the Revs pull out the win via a late Jeff Larentowicz free kick.

August is going to be an important month for RSL to pick up as many points as possible, as they will embark on a four-game road trip in the beginning of September to Los Angeles, Houston, D.C., and Toronto. If Real Salt Lake is to get back into contention, they must win most if not all of their four games in August, three of which are at home.

Key Matchup: Houston forwards vs. Nick Rimando. The high-powered Dynamo offense will need to be held in check by RSL’s defense, which has conceded the second-most goals in the league. Look for RSL ‘keeper Nick Rimando to be tested early and often by Joseph Ngwenya and Nate Jaqua, among others.

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