Toronto, ON – The Houston Dynamo made MLS history last weekend as the club extended its home unbeaten streak to 35 games in all competitions. But now Houston will hit the road to face Toronto FC on Saturday in an effort to end its struggles away from home.
So far this season, the Dynamo has won all four of its games at BBVA Compass Stadium, but the team is 0-2 on the road.
The Dynamo won just three times in 17 away matches last term, and defender Bobby Boswell knows those numbers must improve.
"We know we need to get more points on the road this year than we did last year," said Boswell. "In 2011 we didn't win until our last two road games of the year. You obviously want to win, you want to get three points, but ties aren't exactly losses. We've got to do a little bit better and we know that."
Despite its struggles on the road in recent years, Houston has still managed to reach the playoffs on the strength of its form at home, which head coach Dominic Kinnear feels is down to the quality of his teams.
"It's about consistency. If you look back at when we came here in 2006, our record at home has been pretty remarkable," said Kinnear. "To go unbeaten for this amount of time is also very impressive. People say 'What is the secret?' and I always say that we just have a good team. I think we have always had a good team, have always played well at home but if you don't have a good team, you don't have that record."
Toronto hasn't put together anything close to the kind of success that Houston has had, and the club will be looking to snap a four-match winless streak while continuing the Dynamo's road woes.
TFC has drawn its last three matches in the league, but head coach Ryan Nelsen may have to get creative with how he handles his defense on Saturday.
Richard Eckersley was already out of last weekend's 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union, while the team had Darel Russell sustain an injury and Ashtone Morgan receive a red card.
Morgan will certainly miss Saturday's game through suspension, while Nelsen will have to hope that either Eckersley or Russell can recover in time.
If not, the boss will likely turn to Darren O'Dea and Gale Agbossoumonde, showing the improved depth in the team.
"Competition is a good thing," Morgan said. "You can't get complacent in the training ground and in games because you know that your job is always on the line."
One player whose job is pretty secure at the moment is striker Robert Earnshaw, who has tallied five goals in his first six games for TFC.