On Saturday night, Atlanta United host the Houston Dynamo at Bobby Dodd Stadium for the very first meeting between the two clubs. Atlanta (3-4-3) are looking for their second victory at home, meanwhile Houston (6-4-1) are searching for their first road win of the 2017 campaign. With both teams possessing two of the highest goal tallies in the league this season (HOU, 21; ATL, 20), you won’t want to miss this one. Catch the match on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports Southeast or via FOX Sports Go.
Ahead of this weekend’s cross-conference clash, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) Energize the Crowd Early
For eight out of Atlanta’s ten matches thus far in their inaugural season, the expansion side have been the first on the scoreboard. With another sold out crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium this weekend, it could prove to be a huge advantage against Houston if they can notch a goal, take the early lead and keep the ATLiens on their feet and louder than ever.
2) Halt the Honduran Duo
The Dynamo are firing on all cylinders in the goal scoring department this season in large part due to their off season acquisitions of Honduran internationals Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis. The two have recorded a combined nine goals and three assists and have a rapport with each other that very few teams have been able to freeze. Atlanta will need to shut the duo down if they are to try and capture three points and a clean sheet on Saturday.
3) Avoid Set Pieces
Houston lead the league in goals off set pieces scoring on six occasions so far this season. Even though the five stripes have only conceded a total of two of those on the year, Atlanta United could have captured three points last week in Portland if it weren’t for a late free kick to be headed home by the Timbers. While giving up set pieces hasn’t necessarily been their weakness, it will certainly help the expansion side if they can prevent as many dangerous situations as possible.