What to Watch for as Nashville SC Returns to the Road to Face Houston Dynamo FC

2022.05.11 USOC-190

After three matches at home, Nashville SC (4W-3L-3D, 15 pts.) is hitting the road again for a matchup against Western Conference foe Houston Dynamo FC (3W-4L-3D, 12 pts.). 

The Boys in Gold are coming off back-to-back victories at GEODIS Park, including Wednesday’s dramatic 3-2 win in extra time over Atlanta United FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. Nashville overcame a 2-0 deficit at halftime to earn the win. Forward Ethan Zubak scored the match winner in the first few minutes of the extra session. 

Now, Nashville returns to league play with a matchup against Houston, its first clash with Dynamo FC since a 3-1 victory for the Boys in Gold in October 2020.  

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s road match:  

Date: Saturday, May 14 
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT 
Location: PNC Stadium (Houston, Texas) 
TV: MyTV30 
Local Stream: NashvilleSC.com/stream 
Out-of-Market Stream: ESPN+ 
English Radio: iHeartRadio Online, Nashville SC App 
Spanish Radio: El Jefe 96.7 FM 

Keeping The Energy – Nashville SC is in the midst of a condensed schedule of matches in the month of May. Saturday’s match will be the team’s third in the span of a week.  

Head Coach Gary Smith says he isn’t worried about his side’s fitness after such an electrifying win in the Open Cup on Wednesday night.  

I can tell you flat out that science goes out of the window when you win a game coming from behind from two goals down in extra time in your debut in the Open Cup,” Smith said. “The guys will be as high as a kite. I’ll be peeling them off the ceiling. I won’t even have to ask them if they want to play at the weekend. They will be absolutely jumping out of the changing room on Friday, they’ll have a recovery day [Thursday] and they will be ready, trust me. They’re in such a confident and buoyant mood. They’ll be ready for Saturday.” 

Zubak’s Arrival – Going into Wednesday’s match, Zubak had played a total of two minutes this season.  

He made an impact in his 44 minutes on Wednesday, scoring the match-winner early in extra time. Zubak was played in with a ball over the top by midfielder Hany Mukhtar, rounded the keeper, composed himself and fired the ball through the keeper and two defenders into the back of the net.  

Zubak said he kept himself mentally ready to do what was needed for the team. 

“Whatever you as an individual can do for the team, that’s what you have to do,” Zubak said. “This is my seventh year as a professional player, and my mentality every game is no matter what the role is that I’m playing, I have to be at my best to help the team. If I’m going to come in and play five minutes, two minutes, 15 minutes or 90 minutes, it doesn’t matter. I just have to do whatever the team needs. [Wednesday], the team needed me to go forward and score goals.” 

Scouting Dynamo FC – A lot has changed since the last time Houston and Nashville faced off in October 2020. Only five of Dynamo FC’s starters from that match are still on the team. Eight of Nashville SC’s starters from that match are still with the club, including goalkeeper Joe Willis, who was Dynamo FC’s goalkeeper until he was traded to Nashville in 2019.  

This season, Houston has started strong at home, earning at least a point in five of its six home matches. Sebastián Ferreira and Darwin Quintero have led the way for the team’s attack, scoring four goals each so far in 2022.  

Willis said he’s looking forward to returning to his old stomping grounds. 

“It’ll be fun to go back to Houston,” Willis said. “I’ve been back once since coming to Nashville. It’s always fun to go back and play in a stadium that used to be your home. There’s been a lot of turnover since I left, so it’s a pretty different team, but I still have a few friends there.”