The Houston Dynamo will cling to any positive they can uncover when they square off against expansion Charlotte FC at home on Sunday in the first-ever meeting between the sides.
The Dynamo (6-8-3, 21 points) return home after a 2-1 loss at Portland on Wednesday, their third setback in their past four games and seventh loss in their past 10 contests after a five-game unbeaten streak.
Houston trailed on Wednesday after a ragged first half before cutting its deficit in half on a Darwin Quintero goal with 25 minutes remaining.
"They should be proud of the performance," Dynamo head coach Paulo Nagamura said. "The result of course hurt, but if we play with that intensity and quality, we'll win more games than we lose. We take a lot of positives heading into the Charlette match. We go back home and try to get a result."
The Dynamo's seven losses since April 23 are tied for the most in MLS over that stretch.
Quintero's seven goals lead Houston, while his blistering tally Wednesday was his third from outside the box, tied for the league lead.
Charlotte FC (6-10-2, 20 points) head to the heat and humidity of Houston after 1-0 loss at home to Austin FC. Charlotte has dropped consecutive games for the first time since failing to earn a point in its first three games of the season.
"Listen, we can't feel sorry for ourselves," Charlotte interim coach head Christian Lattanzio said. "We need to move on. We have an important and difficult game on Sunday. We have to regroup and work as strong as we did and even more. Every day has to be a step forward to play the game that we want to play."
Charlotte FC have played nine games on the road this season and have just two points on a pair of tied games for their efforts. The team is still looking for its first road victory in its history.
Charlotte has been shut out three times on the road and has produced just six goals, with never more than one in any game.
Striker Karol Swiderski leads the team with four goals this season. Charlotte has found the net just 17 times, tied for third fewest in the league.
--Field Level Media