MLS

D.C. United v Houston Dynamo: Lesesne demands more in possession

By Sports Desk June 21, 2024

Troy Lesesne knows his D.C. United team must improve in possession if they are to end their miserable run of form when the Houston Dynamo visit Audi Field on Saturday.

D.C. have slipped to 11th in the Eastern Conference standings by failing to win any of their last seven matches, their last victory coming against Atlanta United on May 12.

They were beaten 1-0 in a rematch with the Five Stripes in midweek, leading Lesesne to lament their failings with the ball.

"It's a tough position to be in right now," Lesesne said. 

"Everyone's frustrated — that's clear to see — but at the same time we're not doing enough to earn ourselves points, and that's the truth. We have to demand more.

"When you're playing at home you can't allow a team to come into a game. There are periods in the games where we just don't do enough and that's disappointing.

"We defend quite well and press quite well, but with the ball right now we need to be better, we need to be more composed in certain areas of the game."

Houston, meanwhile, are eighth in the Western Conference after registering three successive 2-2 draws, the latest seeing them blow a 2-0 lead against the Seattle Sounders.

Head coach Ben Olsen was infuriated by the way they failed to make a positive performance count in that match, saying: "It was a poor result and it's happened too many times where we've done so much good, then shot ourselves in the foot.

"We don't score the extra goal and then we let them back into the game through complacency, it's a recurring thing."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

D.C. United – Christian Benteke 

Benteke won 10 of 12 aerial duels for D.C. United last time out, his 11th match this season with at least 10 aerial duel wins. All other MLS players combined have four such games.

Houston Dynamo – Latif Blessing 

Blessing scored both of the Dynamo's goals in their draw with Seattle on Wednesday and has now scored five goals in his last five games. 

He had managed just three goals in his previous 110 regular-season appearances dating back to the start of the 2020 season.

MATCH PREDICTION: HOUSTON DYNAMO WIN

Houston could become just the second team in MLS history to play out four draws in a row while scoring more than once in every game, but they will be hopeful of going one better with a win.

D.C. have lost five of their last seven matches (two draws), including their last two in a row.

They had only lost five of their previous 20 (six wins, nine draws) in a run dating back to the beginning of September 2023. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

D.C. United – 33.8%

Houston Dynamo – 40.5%

Draw – 25.7%

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