FC Cincinnati Travels vs. Houston Preview, Betting Odds

FC Cincinnati Travels vs. Houston Preview, Betting Odds

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
3 min read
FC Cincinnati Travels vs. Houston Preview, Betting Odds

FC Cincinnati heads into July, playing their best soccer of the season and quite possibly of their short MLS existence as they take on the Houston Dynamo. After struggling on the road in their first two seasons with a combined five wins, the Orange and Blue have three road wins in a row dating back to May 22. Their last two wins have been shutouts, with a 1-0 win at Chicago on June 23 and a 2-0 win over Toronto in Florida three days later.

The road trip continues Saturday with an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas. With six points last week, Jaap Stam’s side are now in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. They have played the least amount of games in the East and have the second least goals scored with nine.

Switch in Formation Boosts Cincinnati

After the international break, Stam switched his side to a 4-3-3 formation. The first game resulted in a 2-0 home loss to Colorado Rapids as the team got used to the new setup. Since then, it has flourished with the two shutout wins over Chicago and Toronto.

In moving from the 3-5-2, Stam put Joe Gyau and Ronald Matarrita in traditional back positions instead of defensive wingers. Luciano Acosta, Allan Cruz, and Yuya Kubo stayed in the midfield while Alvaro Barreal entered the lineup to support Isaac Atanga and Brenner up top.

In the first game with the new formation, Barreal scored the winner at Chicago while Kenneth Vermeer and the defense posted a clean sheet. Acosta and Cruz scored against Toronto as the defense again posted a shutout. The two games last week also provided the only time this season Stam has been able to start the same lineup in consecutive games, bringing consistency to the Orange and Blue.

This game serves as a homecoming of sorts for FCC center-back Geoff Cameron. The 35-year old scored 11 goals in five seasons for the Dynamo from 2008-12 and was part of the 2011 MLS runner-up team. This is his first season in Cincinnati after nine seasons in England with Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers.

Dynamo Defend Their Turf

FC Cincinnati will have their hands full with a Houston team that features Maxi Urruti with six goals. The Dynamo have drawn three straight games overall and have not lost at home all season. They have outscored the opposition 8-5 at BBVA Stadium but have been outscored 9-5 in their road games.

Houston last won on May 22 against Vancouver with a 2-1 final score. They have scored at least one goal in each game this season, but their last three contests have been 1-1, 2-2, and 1-1 draws.

Urruti leads the way with six goals, while three other Dynamo players have two goals on the season. Fafa Picault and Tyler Pasher both have two assists, and Picault has Houston’s lone penalty kick. Maric Marko has started all 11 games in goal and has 37 saves with 16 goals allowed.

Betting Analysis

FC Cincinnati is a sizable road underdog at +290 on the moneyline. Houston is -107, and a draw is +245. The total is 2.5, with the under at +114 and the over at -135. FCC is +132 to score first while Houston is -182.

The way FCC are playing, anything is possible in this game. They have shored up the defense that allowed five goals to NYCFC back in April, and they’ve only allowed more than one goal in a game once in the last five. Scoring more than one may be too much to ask for, though, and a draw would be a positive result before FCC return home to host rival Columbus on Friday.

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