SUNDERLAND, England – The Houston Dynamo have won just once over the last two months.
Toronto FC can certainly relate to their misfortune.
In a matchup of two clubs that have each recorded one victory in their last 11 games, the Dynamo and Toronto FC try to bust out of their respective funks when they meet Saturday night at Robertson Stadium.
Houston (4-6-8) is 1-5-5 since the start of May, with the lone victory coming over Chivas USA on June 11. Despite that sluggish stretch, the Dynamo are four points out of a playoff spot.
"It's easier said than done, but we need to start getting some wins going here soon," coach Dominic Kinnear told the Dynamo's official website after Sunday's scoreless draw against Colorado.
The same could be said for Toronto, which is an identical 1-5-5 in its last 11.
Toronto (3-8-9) ended a nine-game winless drought with a 1-0 win over Vancouver on June 29, but came out flat in its next match.
Toronto lost 5-0 to New York on Wednesday, matching the most lopsided defeat in franchise history. The club, 0-5-4 on the road, also suffered a 5-0 loss to the Red Bulls on Oct. 24, 2009.
Shoddy defense has been one of the biggest reasons for Toronto's struggles. It has allowed a league-worst 34 goals, and has been outscored by at least three five times this season.
"It seems like there has been a few times this year where it's just little things, bounces, that lead to losses,'' defender Dan Gargan said. "It's frustrating and it's hard to play with, but it's also these are sometimes the bumps and bruises of the game.''
Although Toronto's defense has been vulnerable, it could have some success against a Houston team that has been shut out three times in its last five games. The Dynamo's offense never got on track against the Rapids, failing to record a shot on goal.
Toronto defeated Houston 2-1 at BMO Field on May 7, but its lineup has since been beset by injuries.
Adrian Cann (ACL), Dicoy Williams (knee), Maicon Santos (hamstring) and Julian de Guzman (knee) all played big roles in the first meeting, but none are expected to take the field in Houston. Santos, who leads the team with six goals, scored against the Dynamo in May.
Houston is also expected to be a bit short-handed with Cam Weaver, who is tied with Will Bruin for the team lead with four goals, nursing a hip strain.