KANSAS CITY, KS - JULY 7: Tally Hall #1 of the Houston Dynamo yells instructions to his defense during a Sporting Kansas City corner kick in the second half at Livestrong Sporting Park on July 7, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
When DC United and the Dynamo kickoff on Saturday, it will begin what very well could be the start of a season defining week of soccer in Houston.
While the Geoff Cameron transfer still remains up in the air, Kinnear will be able to welcome back Calen Carr and Je-Vaughn Watson. The return of these two players could mean a shift back to the 4-4-2 formation, even though the team has been defensively stronger using the 4-3-3. Of course, they've failed to score any goals with the formation in the last two games, so maybe a switch is needed.
Personally, I'd like to see the Dynamo stick with the 4-3-3 because I think it better utilizes both Boniek Garcia and Macoubma Kandji. With Watson healthy, I'd like to see how the offense looks with him in the center of the midfield, helping to lead the attack. At least give it a shot right? Of course, it wouldn't surprise me at all though if the Dynamo lined up in the good 'ol 4-4-2 tomorrow evening.
No matter what Kinnear does in terms of setting up his team, the key to this game and the other two over the coming week will be scoring goals. Draws aren't bad, but Houston is about to play three home games against Eastern Conference opponents. If the Dynamo can pick up nine points, they are right back in the mix at the top of the conference. Six or seven points would be good, five borderline acceptable, anything less means potential trouble.
United arrive having one five out their last six matches, a streak that makes them one of the hottest teams in MLS. Their first trip to BBVA Compass Stadium back in May was not one of their better performances of the season, so they'll no doubt be looking to improve upon that. How they are able to handle the heat, which may not be too bad tomorrow with a forecast around 90 and 76% humidity, will play a big roll in whether they are able to get a better result. Let's hope they have the same struggles this time around.
This is the third and final scheduled meeting between the two teams this season. DC won the first match at RFK Stadium back in April 3-2. If both sides end up in the playoffs, there's a good chance there could be a fourth match-up.
It's time for the Dynamo to tighten the screws and get their week of reckoning off to a good start with a win over DC United. Let's hope they can find some goals or that might not be possible.
Predicted Lineup: Hall; Hainault, Taylor, Boswell, Ashe; Moffat, Watson, Davis; Boniek, Bruin, Kandji
Predicted Score: 1-1. I think the Dynamo will finally get the offense going again, but in doing so they'll leave some gaps in the back to be exploited.