I think we need to inaugurate a new acronym around here: TGFOW. Thank Goodness for Off Weeks. The Houston Dynamo last played on June 1st, holding on to a 1-1 draw in Columbus despite losing Eric Brunner (possible concussion), Adam Moffat (right leg) and Giles Barnes (left ankle) to injuries. With the roster in shambles due to injuries, suspensions and international call-ups, a nice rest was probably exactly what the Dynamo needed - except for Anthony Arena, who decided to buck the trend and get injured during practice last Wednesday.
The rest, however, is now over. The Dynamo are back in training in preparation for the fourth round of the US Open Cup, which will be played against FC Dallas in Frisco on Wednesday night. This might not be a regular season match, but this will be an all hands on deck situation. We all remember what happened the last time these two sides met, and besides, circumstances dictate that Wednesday's clash will be much different.
Dallas striker Blas Perez will be absent on international duty, as will Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia. Time off means that the Dynamo will have Barnes, Jermaine Taylor and Tally Hall back, with Brian Salazar, Cam Weaver and Omar Cummings also training. Bobby Boswell will also be in the fold, and though he also suffered an injury against Columbus, the fact that Andrew Driver was able to finish the match bodes well for his status.
This will be an interesting match, lineup wise, I think. The fact that it's coming on the back end of a long break could mean that we see a starting XI that's closer to a league match - after all, Dom Kinnear will probably want to get people playing time going into a very important conference match this weekend - but I would also not be surprised to see players like Salazar or Brian Ownby, or even Brian Ching.
Sure, most people would agree that the US Open Cup takes a back seat to the league season. But I also think that most everyone would love to see us advance and host a quarterfinal (to be played on June 26th) - especially at the expense of this particular team. That being said, the only way we'll know for sure is by the score at the end of the match. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Wednesday.