The Los Angeles Galaxy strive to continue their hot stretch when they entertain the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in Carson, Calif.
The Galaxy (7-10-7, 28 points) are in the process of overcoming an early-season rut and have a 5-1-4 mark over their last 10 MLS matches.
Los Angeles is still a measly 13th in the 14-team Western Conference but the playoff push received another boost with Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the host San Jose Earthquakes. The club now sits just five points behind ninth-place FC Dallas, the current holder of the final postseason spot in the West.
"I think we're in a good spot," Galaxy coach Craig Vanney said after the latest victory. "We know based off the start and the challenge we had early, that we've got a little hole to dig ourselves out of, that's clear. But I think we found our foundation to build off of a little while ago."
Dejan Joveljic scored the game-winner against San Jose on a penalty kick in the 61st minute. Tyler Boyd recorded his team-best sixth goal and Riqui Puig scored his fifth.
Houston (11-10-5, 38 points) is in fourth place in the West but has struggled on the road with a 2-8-3 record.
On the other hand, the Dynamo have fared well against the Galaxy, with a 5-3-5 record over 13 meetings since the start of the 2017 season. Houston has scored at least three goals in all of the victories.
That trend was in order April 8 when the Dynamo registered a 3-0 home win over Los Angeles. Amine Bassi had two goals — the first on a penalty kick — and Hector Herrera had the other.
Houston also has dominated its last three MLS matches, beating the Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew by a combined 10-0.
The Dynamo took another step in their pursuit of a playoff spot for the first time since 2017 by blanking the visiting Crew 2-0 on Wednesday behind goals from Corey Baird and Aliyu Ibrahim. Baird (six goals) ranks second on the squad behind Bassi (nine).
"We're doing it in different ways: service, some combinations, some magic from some players," Houston coach Ben Olsen said afterward. "It's a fun group right now. We want to keep riding this wave."
—Field Level Media