2019 MLS Match Day 7 Preview — Houston (3-1-0) vs. San Jose (1-0-4)

Out to win a fourth consecutive game and remain unbeaten, the well-rested Houston Dynamo look to continue their stellar offensive play Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The Dynamo (3-0-1) failed to score in the two legs of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal exit against Mexico’s UANL, but those issues have not been evident in their fast start to MLS play. Houston has scored nine goals in its three-match winning streak and is coming off a 4-1 romp at Colorado on March 30.

Alberth Elis set up Memo Rodriguez’s goal in the fourth minute and added his own in the second half, bracketing a pair of own goals by Colorado. The 23-year-old Rodriguez, who had more career U.S. Open Cup goals (4) than MLS goals (3) entering 2019, is off to a blazing start with four goals.

“I think I can finally live up to the opportunity in minutes, and it can get better always,” Rodriguez said after netting a goal for the third straight game. “Moving the ball, getting into positions where I can score is good for me and good for the team.”

This match kicks off a stretch in which the Dynamo play six of nine at home. Houston is 4-1-1 in its last six league games at BBVA Compass Stadium dating back to last season but has failed to record a clean sheet there in 11 contests.

San Jose (1-4-0) broke through for its first win under new manager Matias Almeyda last Saturday in a surprising 3-0 rout of Portland. The Earthquakes, who had been outscored 14-2 in a dreadful start that included three home defeats, netted all of their goals in the first 34 minutes as Shea Salinas, Danny Hoesen and Cristian Espinoza all found the back of the net.

“I think we started very well with a lot of energy in the first half. We scored three goals,” said Hoesen, who got his first start of the year after coming off the bench in the previous four matches. “Obviously, it was very exciting for us. In the second half, we could have done a little better, but we gave so much energy in the first half that sometimes you have to see out the game. We’re all very happy with this.”

The Earthquakes are seeking their first back-to-back wins since July 29 and Aug. 5 of 2017, and out to snap a six-game road losing streak that includes the final five matches of 2018. San Jose is 1-2-10 in its last 13 road matches in league play and yielded 50 goals in 22 road matches since its last road shutout – a 3-0 win over the Galaxy on Aug. 27, 2017.

Houston claimed four of the six possible points in last season’s two meetings and posted a 3-2 home victory in the most recent matchup on Romell Quioto’s goal in the 87th minute. The Dynamo are 4-1-0 in their last five home matches versus San Jose and 8-1-2 at BBVA since the Quakes re-entered MLS in 2008.

(Memo Rodriguez photo courtesy Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

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