United hopes to beat the heat at BBVA
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - D.C. United helped to open BBVA Compass Stadium back in May, and the club will return to Texas to take on the Houston Dynamo for the third and final time in the regular season on Sunday.
Houston claimed a 1-0 win in its inaugural match at BBVA, and the Dynamo has yet to taste defeat at its new ground, something United would love to change.
With five wins in its last six games, United is one of the hottest teams in the league at the moment, and Ben Olsen's side will have the benefit of an extra week of rest ahead of the match.
In United's last visit to Houston, the club struggled to cope with the heat in Texas and suffered a slew of in-game injuries.
But Olsen said he won't be using the warm temperatures as an excuse this time around.
"We can't use the heat as an excuse," Olsen said this week. "The summer has been brutal here so the guys are ready for that. It will be a level playing field as far as heat, it shouldn't be an issue."
One player who should be used to the heat is former Dynamo player Dwayne De Rosario, who spent much of his career with the club before bouncing around the past few seasons.
De Rosario leads United with 10 assists, and Chris Pontius, who has benefited from many quality passes from his teammate, is impressed with how well De Rosario has fit in.
"He obviously adapts," Pontius said of De Rosario. "He has done it with a number of different teams, too. To be consistently that good, it shows a lot."
De Rosario's former team hasn't been consistently good this season, but coach Dominic Kinnear's bunch has managed to capture five points from its last three games, with the club posting back-to-back clean sheets in its two most recent outings.
"We know we're not exactly lighting the scoreboard up, but we were unbeaten last week and that's a positive," Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com, "but there's always room for improvement and maintaining consistency is something we're striving for.
"We gave up seven goals in two games and made an adjustment and now the attack has suffered a bit. "It's a balancing act. To give yourself a chance to win games, you have to defend well and score goals, and we're trying to do both."
The Dynamo will be very busy over the course of the upcoming week with three matches to play.
But all three will come at home, where Houston has tallied 10 goals in seven games.
"We've got three at home where we're undefeated and we need to start picking up ground and getting some points," midfielder Brad Davis said. "We've gone two games giving up no goals which is a positive. I'd like to see the floodgates open up for sure, everybody would, but we can't get away from what we're doing."