Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Expansion St. Louis City eye 1st place when hosting Dynamo

Field Level Media
03 Jun 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

Back to their winning ways, expansion St. Louis City will have their eyes on first place in the Western Conference as they host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

St. Louis (8-4-1, 25 points) is tied with LAFC for second in the West, one point behind the Seattle Sounders. Seattle faces the Portland Timbers on Saturday afternoon.

After three straight losses across all competitions, St. Louis City have won their past two games by a combined score of 7-1. Their 3-1 triumph over the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 27 made them the first expansion team in MLS history to total 25 points in their first 13 matches.

Eduard Lowen scored his fourth goal of the season on a long, curling free kick. St. Louis capitalized on a Vancouver own goal before halftime and Miguel Perez added his first during second-half stoppage time.

"It feels good to score goals, and some of them might have been lucky, but I think you create your own luck so we'll take what we can get," midfielder Indiana Vassilev said. "But yeah, seven goals in two games feels good."

St. Louis now leads the conference with 29 goals, which figures to be bad news for a Houston Dynamo team that just lost 6-2 at the Whitecaps on Wednesday. Houston had been stingy, allowing a mere five goals in its previous eight MLS matches.

The Dynamo (5-6-3, 18 points) are also one of four MLS clubs still hunting for their first win on the road. They're 0-5-2 away from home to date.

"I'm concerned that we didn't show up in the way we needed to for this game (against Vancouver)," Dynamo coach Ben Olsen told reporters. "We're not good enough yet to not have players show up and give everything and to have their bellies empty and not be hungrier than the team we're playing against. That was concerning (Wednesday)."

Amine Bassi leads the Dynamo with six goals. His goal in the 16th minute Wednesday made it 2-1 Houston before the Whitecaps stormed ahead.

The Dynamo have a suspect track record against expansion teams like St. Louis. Houston is 2-9-6 in its last 17 matches against first-year opponents, according to MLS.

St. Louis coach Bradley Carnell said midfielder Rasmus Alm (abdominal) will be available to play Saturday, while "it might be a game too soon" for Joao Klauss (quad), who's returned to practice. Klauss leads the team with five goals.

--Field Level Media

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