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Paulo Nagamura challenges Houston Dynamo to improve home form

Following their 2-1 win away at the San Jose Earthquakes last week, the Houston Dynamo head into their clash at home to Minnesota United within striking range of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Just two points separate the Dynamo from the LA Galaxy in seventh with 13 regular-season games remaining.

Only six of those matches are at PNC Stadium and given how notoriously difficult away games can be in Major League Soccer due to the immense travel distances involved, it might be the Dynamo’s home form that makes all the difference.

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That said, they’ll have to improve on a recent run of just one win from the last four in their own backyard – and that won’t be easy against an MNUFC side fresh from a 4-0 thrashing of Premier League side Everton.

“We have a challenge this year, to be more dominant at home. That’s what we are working towards,” said head coach Paulo Nagamura.

“We got a great result in San Jose and that was a great performance overall. Now we are preparing for a good Minnesota team, a team that is very hot right now and playing well. A team with a good attacking player, (Emanuel) Reynoso, he is outstanding in transition.

“The bottom line is that we have to be stronger at home, and that’s what we are working towards.”

A defining factor in whether or not Houston get the necessary points from those six home games could be the impact of Hector Herrera.

The Mexico international arrived from Atletico Madrid this summer and made his debut in front of a 21,284-strong crowd at PNC Stadium against FC Dallas, before featuring in the Dynamo’s last two road games.

The arrival of a player with such pedigree has already given a boost to the Dynamo, further galvanizing an already strong team ethic.

“That’s one of the strengths of our team. When I took over at the beginning of the year, it was clear that they are a committed group of players that want to turn this around,” Nagamura added.

“The arrival of Hector gave this group a boost and Hector got along really well with the rest of the group. He understands our mission and what we are fighting for and we are all on the same page. With his arrival, our chemistry is going to get better and better, and we are going to get stronger as a team.” 


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