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Houston Dynamo Match Crucial to Toronto FC’s Road Trip

Getting the road trip off on the right foot is crucial for Toronto FC.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC’s road trip is going to depend a heck of a lot on what happens tonight in Houston. The Dynamo are there for the taking, and after today things don’t get any easier during the club’s second-longest road trip of the season.

With four straight wins in a recent homestand, Toronto FC is one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer. They are now a win away from top spot in the Eastern Conference, provided New York City FC drops points.

As the road trip continues, things will get more difficult. Legs will grow tired, minds will grow weary, and getting results, especially wins, will become that much more challenging.

That’s why it’s so important that Toronto FC start this trip off with in a win, and take away the pressure that will build if they can’t. Houston isn’t an easy place to win, but it certainly isn’t as difficult as Orlando or Philly.

Houston is at the very bottom of the Western Conference, only two points ahead of the bottom of MLS. They recently dealt star player Giles Barnes to the Vancouver Whitecaps in a move that signalled the relative end of their season.

Like most in this league, however, beating them at home is still no easy task. Like Toronto FC, they have only lost once at home all season. Toronto, on the other hand, has not won in Houston since 2010.

With Barnes gone, Houston has few threats as they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. However, Toronto will still have to be wary of Andrew Wenger and Will Bruin, both proven scorers in this league.

While Toronto won’t have the home crowd to keep them energized, it would serve them well to play as close as possible to how they have of late. Teams have really struggled to deal with their constant attack, as they outscored the opposition 12-2 during their homestand.

The return of Jozy Altidore to 90 minute form, a possibility this week, could be huge for their attack. Altidore has scored twice since returning and added an assist, all in appearances off the bench. Meanwhile, Sebastian Giovinco is the hottest player in the league with two hat tricks in his last three matches.

Four points is a realistic expectation for Toronto FC from this road trip, but today is their best chance at getting the majority of those points. Even with how the club has been playing lately, three points are not going to be easy to pick up in either Orlando or Philly.

Projected Starting Eleven: