Fresh off first win, Earthquakes visit Dynamo

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 30, 2024

If last week is any indication, San Jose has found its stride offensively.

The Earthquakes will take that newfound confidence into Houston on Saturday night.

San Jose (1-4-0, 3 points) was quick in doubling its lead against the Sounders, as Vitor Costa de Brito and Cristian Espinoza netted goals one minute apart for a 2-0 lead in the first 43 minutes of the game.

But after the Sounders scored twice in the second half to tie it, Jeremy Ebobisse scored in the 82nd minute to win it.

"I thought it was our most dangerous game, with volume and quality chances that were reflected in (expected goals)," Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said. "In the goals we actually scored, I think set pieces also contributes to that. We've been pretty aggressive on set pieces. We've some new players and ideas that, from preseason until right now, have been really positive."

Across the pitch, the Dynamo (2-1-1, 7 points) have recovered from a draw and a loss to open the MLS season with consecutive 1-0 wins.

"Last week was a big result for us," Houston coach Ben Olsen said his team's first win, at home against the Portland Timbers on March 16. "I know it was only our third game in the league, but it felt like a real slog. That three points got us back to center."

Then came a 1-0 victory at Colorado last Saturday. Brad Smith accounted for the only goal, which came in second-half stoppage time.

If history is an indication, the Dynamo hold a huge advantage. San Jose is 2-12-1 all-time at Houston and has not won there since 2015. On the other hand, Earthquakes goalkeeper William Yarbrough has never lost to the Dynamo, going 4-0-4 against them while with Colorado.

Houston, the reigning Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion and Audi MLS Cup conference finalist, has a reliable goalkeeper in Steve Clark, who has 62 clean sheets in his 11-year career.

--Field Level Media