Houston, TX – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo will renew acquaintances at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday in the Texas Derby with Dallas putting El Capitan on the line.
Both sides have gotten off to good starts this term with Dallas taking 10 of a possible 12 points from its first four games to climb to the top of the Western Conference.
Houston, meanwhile, won its first two matches before a 2-1 defeat at Vancouver last time out.
The Dynamo won its first two games by a combined score of 5-0 before the setback to the Whitecaps as goals from Jordan Harvey and Kenny Miller put Vancouver up 2-0 before Ricardo Clark pulled a goal back for the Dynamo 15 minutes from time.
Dallas claimed a 2-1 win over Portland last time out with a goal from Mauro Diaz in the 84th minute to break a 1-1 tie.
A Matt Hedges own goal in the 67th handed the Timbers the equalizer, but Diaz kept the good run of results going for Dallas with his goal six minutes from time.
First-year head coach Oscar Pareja has seen his side get off to a great start, and he already knows how important Saturday's match is to his team.
"Now, we are looking forward to Houston," Pareja said after Saturday's win over Portland. "I have had a couple of players already ask me about Houston and that's a good sign."
The Dynamo will also be eager to take three points from Saturday's contest, and not just because it would improve their place in the Eastern Conference table.
Last year's lone meeting between Dallas and Houston saw Kenny Cooper score a stoppage-time goal to hand Dallas a 3-2 win and help the team take possession of El Capitan, a Civil War-era cannon that goes to the winner of the season series between the two sides.
But with Houston having moved to the Eastern Conference, El Capitan goes to the winner of the lone meeting between the teams, which is something that Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall would like to see change.
"Do I want the rivalry to last three games? Yeah, I definitely do," Hall told MLSsoccer.com. "I enjoy the rivalry aspect of it. It's good for the game, for both Dallas and Houston.
"For the players, it's all about three points at the weekend, but you can't help but to hear and feel it. I'd be excited to play them three times and I'd be excited to beat them three times."