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Guess the Starting XI - Match 24 vs. Houston

As the dog days of summer continue, the Whitecaps host the Dynamo in a critical match up.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Houston Dynamo FC Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back everyone.

If we weren’t already, we are now officially in the business end of the MLS season. With eleven matches to go, the margins grow smaller by the day, so Vancouver will have to maximize their stretch run as they currently sit four points out of the last playoff place in the West.

This Friday, the Caps have a big chance to take a step in the right direction against Houston. The Dynamo are directly below the Whitecaps in the Western Conference standings, two points back and level on matches played. Equally for Vancouver, it is an opportunity to correct their recent home form, which has gone from a strength to a frailty in recent MLS fixtures.

In terms of the Dynamo as a team, they are statistically similar to the Whitecaps in many ways: goals for and against, expected goal difference, etc. Most recently, the Dynamo were blown out 6-0 in Philly by the Union, so they’ll certainly be looking for a bounce back performance to right the ship. In terms of scoring, two South Americans have led the way for Houston this year in Darwin Quintero and Sebastian Ferreira. After stints in both his native Paraguay and Mexico, the 24-year-old Ferreira is backing up an impressive 27 goals from his last two years at Libertad with 7 goals and 3 assists over his first 18 starts in MLS, certainly one to watch.

MLS: Houston Dynamo FC at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In terms of the Whitecaps, we’ll have to monitor how the likes of Cavallini and Teibert recover over the course of the week. As always, I’ll look to link injury updates here.

Ok, on to rules and standings:

  • Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE (or more accurately, whichever is the correct match thread) before the lineup is officially announced, usually about an hour before kickoff.
  • You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. You receive 4 bonus points for correctly predicting all 11 starters.
  • You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw, this doubles to 10 if you also predict the right score-line along with the result.
  • All this means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 25 points!
  • At the end of each half, the contestant’s lowest two scores of that period will be deducted from the cumulative standings.