Dynamo chasing efficiency vs. RSL with chance to advance

League: MLS

Posted on: 06 Nov, 2023 at 12:30 AM

Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo will look to remain undefeated against Real Salt Lake this season when they travel to Sandy, Utah, for Game 2 of a best-of-three opening-round playoff series Monday.

The Dynamo opened the short series with a 2-1 victory over RSL on Oct. 29. The win improved Houston to 3-0-1 across all competitions against Salt Lake.

Dynamo captain Hector Herrera and midfielder Amine Bassi scored goals in Game 1, marking the first time in club history that two Houston players scored in the same game during their postseason debuts.

"We've got to get better in a few areas if we're going to have success in Salt Lake City," Dynamo coach Ben Olsen said. "Playoff wins are difficult to get, but we're pretty clear in some areas where we need to get better at if we're going to be successful as we go away here for the very important second game.

"We need to be a little bit more efficient on the offensive end and cleaning some of the patterns and being more clinical -- making sure we're smarter in our decisions in the final third."

Monday is Real Salt Lake's first home playoff match since a 2-1 win over Portland in the first round of the 2019 playoffs. RSL has lost only two of 11 home playoff matches all time (6-2-3), with their last loss coming to Seattle in 2012.

Diego Luna has scored RSL's last three goals, including playoffs. The midfielder opened the scoring in the 54th minute of Game 1.

"You got to have second and third actions against these guys cause when they break lines, they go to goal quick, and they go with numbers," RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "In terms of the way we wanted to come out, I thought we actually did a good job in the first 20 minutes defensively, but I thought we were really poor with the ball once we won it.

"Against these guys, we've got to be better with the ball, and we've got to take our chances."

--Field Level Media