Houston, TX – FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo battle for the El Capitan on Saturday, as the Texas rivals clash for the only time during the Major League Soccer regular season.
The El Capitan, a 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon, is given to the team that wins the season series and with just one meeting between the clubs due to the unbalanced schedule this year, it will be decided at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston (4-4-4) was one of the few teams to play during the two-week break for international games, but it lost to Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend, 3-1, on the road.
Although the Dynamo were without a few players because of international duty, they were disappointed to see their four-game unbeaten streak end.
"I thought there were times that we were the better team, but at the end of the day, it's about the score, and I think we were our own worst enemy at times," Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall said.
"Obviously not starting the game well ... is disappointing, but I think we rebounded well. We're disappointed with the loss."
Houston did have a bright spot on the offensive end, as Macoumba Kandji scored his first goal since joining the team in the offseason.
"At the end of the day, we lost, so it didn't feel good," Kandji admitted. "We were just unlucky. We've got to move on from it and focus on the game against Dallas next Saturday."
Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear will welcome Geoff Cameron, Andre Hainault and Jermaine Taylor back from international duty, and the defense should be a lot more settled against Dallas.
FC Dallas (3-8-4) has yet to settle into the season due to injuries and visits Houston winless in its last nine games. Dallas lost its last match before the break, 3-2, to Real Salt Lake and has not won since mid-April.
Dallas is level on points with the Portland Timbers for seventh in the Western Conference and is two points off the foot of the table. Houston is seventh in the East.
"I think the most disappointing thing for us is that we worked so hard for so long and to leave again without any points, you feel like a little piece of you dies every time you lose a game," FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman said.
"It's been a rough patch for us and it's easy to point fingers and it's easy to blame, but at the end of the day we all have to raise our level."