The Houston Dynamo have already booked their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs and will try to improve on their seeding when the already-eliminated Colorado Rapids pay a visit Saturday.
The match closes Houston’s home regular-season schedule and ends a brutal run of seven games in 22 days.
Within that, the Dynamo (12-11-9, 45 points) defeated Inter Miami to win the U.S. Open Cup final on Sept. 27 and qualified for their first postseason since 2017.
The Dynamo enter Saturday just one point out of a top-four postseason spot, which would give them at least one home match in the postseason.
And when the Dynamo only managed a 1-1 draw at Montreal on Wednesday night after conceding a late equalizer, in a game without suspended captain Hector Herrera, the fact that the disappointment was palpable was also a sign of how much the club has progressed.
“When you let a team hang around and they throw on big boys and get extremely aggressive, you can only hold that off for so long,” Houston coach Ben Olsen said. “(We) had a courageous defensive performance and plenty of looks, and I love how the expectations are changing. This is a very tough place to come, in the history of this league, and I thought we had a better game and better chances.”
Herrera has a team-leading 14 assists and is expected to return after serving his suspension for yellow card accumulation. Amine Bassi leads the Dynamo with nine goals.
Colorado (5-15-11, 26 points) has struggled in attack all season and its 24 goals scored is still an MLS low. But the Rapids have looked improved under interim coach Chris Little, scoring eight times in the last five games.
Cole Bassett has scored his team-leading third, fourth and fifth goals in that stretch, in which Colorado is 2-2-1.
They earned a 1-0 home win against Austin last weekend before a scheduled midweek match against FC Dallas was postponed by weather till next Wednesday.
“There’s just a different kind of an energy, you can feel it,” goalkeeper Marko Ilic said after the Austin win. “You can see today, everybody died for the ball.”