FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo – game info and lineup prediction

12th in the West FC Dallas (3-6-2, 11 points) travels south to face 8th in the West Houston Dynamo (5-5-2, 17 points) in a Texas Derby match.

According to FCD’s Garrett Melcer, “As long as FCD doesn’t lose by more than two goals this Saturday, they’ll keep El Capitán in Frisco for the third-consecutive season.” I will trust he did the math.


This game is also part of Copa Tejas, the three-way cup that includes Austin FC. Dynamo fell to the Broccoli 1-0 mid-week.

Broadcast Info

TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Apple TV English: Christian Miles and Jalil Anibaba
Apple TV Spanish: Pablo Ramirez and Jesus Bracamontes

English Radio: 1190 am and the FC Dallas App.  Owen Newkirk and Steve Davis on the call. Pregame at 7 pm with Sam Hale.

Spanish Radio:  FC Dallas app with Carlos Alvarado and Rafa Calderon.

MLS Injury/Player Availability Report

FC Dallas 

  • OUT: Paul Arriola (calf)
  • OUT: Liam Fraser (thigh)
  • OUT: Asier Illarramendi (glute)
  • OUT: Geovane Jesus (knee)
  • OUT: Amet Korça (groin)
  • OUT: Paxton Pomykal (knee)
  • OUT: Alan Velasco (knee)

Houston Dynamo

  • OUT: Sebastian Ferreira (lower body)
  • OUT: Nelson Quiñónes (knee)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Daniel Steres (hip)
  • QUESTIONABLE: Franco Escobar (lower body)

Discipline Report


Suspended on Next Yellow
FC Dallas: None
Houston: Sebastian Kowalczyk

FCD Lineup Prediction

This one is going to be tricky to predict. Watching training on Wednesday, I don’t think Coach Nico Estevez had decided what to do versus the Dynamo.

Coach says FCD is all in on the US Open Cup and with a game Wednesday at Tampa Bay Rowdies we have to keep that in mind. So perhaps some light adjustments?

First, there’s the injury crisis in midfield. Alan Velasco and Paxton Pomykal are out long-term. Asier Illarramendi did indeed sub out hurt last game and is out for another week, give or take. Liam Fraser also left Austin with an issue and is out a couple of weeks. Sebastian LLetget is back from injury, but we know Coach Nico likes to work guys back in and he told me SL won’t start this one. ( I do expect a bench appearance for like 30 minutes.)

That makes Patrickson Delgado a default starter and he should be able to go back-to-back games. I’m putting in Tomas Pondeca next to him for a little more Lletget/Pomykal-like offense. Pondeca was injured at the start of the season but has been back for a few games now and looked pretty good starting 3 of his last 5 appearances for North Texas SC. He’s a good two-way player.

Two shot-in-the-dark light rotations: Eugene Ansah in for Tsiki Ntsabeleng up top and Carl Sainte in for Sebas Ibeagha. Both can come off the bench if needed in this one and then start at Tampa.

3rd Degree's FCD XI prediction at Houston, May 18, 2024.
3rd Degree’s FCD XI prediction at Houston, May 18, 2024.

Update: Given Tomas Pondeca is the featured player in the North Texas SC game teaser, it seems unlikely he’s with FCD. So pencil in Tsiki Ntsabeleng instead as he’s a two-way player. Or maybe Carl Sainte in a double 6 look with Ibeagha back in at CB.

Bench Prediction
Jimmy Maurer
Dante Sealy
Nolan Norris
Bernard Kamungo
Tsiki Ntsabeleng
Sebastian Lletget
Omar Gonzalez
Logan Farrington
Sebas Ibeagha

MLS Kit Assignments

Kit assignments for FC Dallas at Houston, May 18, 2024. (Courtesy MLS)
Kit assignments for FC Dallas at Houston, May 18, 2024. (Courtesy MLS)

…And the white’s back.


REFEREE: Tori Penso
ASSISTANT REFEREES: Kathryn Nesbitt, Meghan Mullen
4TH OFFICIAL: Matthew Thompson
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard, Rene Parra

More Game Info

  • FCD record: 3-6-2 (11 points, 11th in West)
  • HOU record: 5-5-2 (17 points, 8th in West)
  • FCD vs. HOU all-time: 15-13-19 (73 goals scored, 64 goals conceded)
  • FCD at HOU away: 4-10-10 (33 goals scored, 39 goals conceded)

Dallas is 1-5-0 when conceding first and has won only 3 points from losing positions in MLS.

8 of 12 FCD goals have been scored in the second half.

12 Dallas players have combined to miss 56 games.

Houston has allowed just 12 goals across as many matches this season, which is tied for the third-fewest across MLS.

Dallas has scored six goals in the past four games.

Los Toros are on a five-game undefeated streak versus the Dynamo.

Houston leads the Western Conference with 58.4% possession across the season.

Kenny Cooper Jr. leads the series in goals scored with seven goals scored in all comps.

Sam Junqua played 51 games for the Dynamo and his “right of first refusal” rights were traded for by Dallas in 2023.

Other crossover players include Fafa Picault, Maynor Figueroa, Chris Seitz, and Je-Vaughn Watson.

At 23 years and 139 days old, Jesús Ferreira became the youngest player in MLS history to reach 50 career goals. He’s also FCD’s all-time Homegrown appearance leader.

Petar Musa ranks 43rd across MLS in xG (2.77) and the highest on FC Dallas.

Maarten Paes ranks tenth overall in MLS in saves made with 32. Paes also ranks No. 22 in balls won (15).

2024 FC Dallas games Missed Due to Injury

Paul Arriola15/11
Marco Farfan82/24-4/20
Jesús Ferreira52/24, 3/30-4/20
Sebastien Ibeagha23/2-3/9
Asier Illarramendi43/9-4/6
Geovane Jesus112/24-
Amet Korça52/24-3/9, 5/4-
Logan Farrington13/16
Sebastian Lletget34/27-
Paxton Pomykal102/24, 3/9-
Alan Velasco112/24-

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