Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto FC will make its long-awaited return home to BMO Field on Sunday to tangle with the Houston Dynamo after opening the campaign on a seven-game road trip.
With BMO Field undergoing renovations, TFC was forced to hit the road, and after losing four of their first five games, the season wasn't off to a flying start.
But the club has since rebounded to win its last two league matches, with Italian star Sebastian Giovinco rounding into form having netted four goals in the past three games.
Toronto lost the first leg of its Canadian Championship semifinal to Montreal on Wednesday, but that defeat won't dampen the momentum from the last two league games and the fact that TFC will play six of its next eight matches on home soil.
Houston enters the fixture at the other end of the spectrum having lost its last two games while failing to record in four successive matches.
The Dynamo's last outing was particularly frustrating as the team controlled large stretches of its game with the San Jose Earthquakes but came away with a 1-0 defeat to a 54th-minute goal from Adam Jahn.
Houston head coach Owen Coyle was even more upset at the circumstances surrounding the goal as a quickly-taken free kick from Matias Perez Garcia caught the Dynamo defense napping, allowing Jahn to get in behind and slot home the lone tally.
"If anyone else watches that game tonight, I think they would have accepted that we were the better side and had better chances," Coyle said. "But when all is said and done, we lost a soft goal. What needs to change for possession into chances is the conversion rate. When you get good chances, you have to be ruthless and convert them."
Not only was Tuesday's loss to San Jose a disappointment, but the fact that the Dynamo only managed to take one point from a three-game homestand will also not sit well.
The one positive from the game was Houston's improved play in defense as the club gave away just one goal after conceding four in each of the team's previous two fixtures.
Against the likes of Giovinco and Jozy Altidore for TFC, Dynamo defender Raul Rodriguez knows his side will come under pressure on the defensive end once again.
"I know they have very talented guys in attack and it's probably a good moment for us to play them, because we're playing maybe very soft defensively the last three games," Rodriguez told MLSsoccer.com.
"The last game [against San Jose] we were more solid but I think it's a very good moment for us to see how solid can we play. These guys are going to put a lot of pressure on us, so we have to keep pushing."