Houston Dynamo v Philadelphia Union: Q&A with Eugene Rupinski of Brotherly Game

How has Andrew Wenger fared since swapping from Montreal to Philadelphia? - Mitchell Leff

This week we take on the Philadelphia Union, and I had the opportunity to sit down with Eugene Rupinski from SBNation's Union blog, Brotherly Game, and ask a few questions.

Dynamo Theory: I know it's only been a short one and a half weeks since the Jack McInerney and Andrew Wenger trade with Montreal, but thus far how does Wenger look and are there any concerns over whether the trade was a fair swap?

Eugene Rupinski: I think Andrew has done well in his short time here. He brings a physicality and work ethic that Jack didn't. Where Jack would look for a perfect pass and sulk and complain if he didn't get it, Andrew seems to be willing to "make his own luck" so to speak by going after balls and fighting through traffic. I think Andrew fits better here not only in terms of the formation but just the mentality of the city. We expect our players to be tough, and Andrew had that grit in his guts.

I think initially people thought it was a bad deal since Jack has shown so much promise. But once details came out about Jack being a distraction and the realization that Andrew fit better into the system here that those fears quickly subsided. And scoring a goal on your debut doesn't hurt when trying to win over a fan base.

DT: If you were the Houston Dynamo, how would you tactically set about trying to slow down the Philadelphia Union midfield of Maurice Edu, Sebastian LeToux and Leonardo Fernandes?

ER: If I were managing Houston, I'd tell the club to let the Union midfield pass as much as they liked between themselves but to watch when they transition from the midfield to the forwards and look to intercept those passes and start a counterattack as quick as possible. The Union pass a lot, but their shot selection is terrible and the defense has been porous. Mark the forwards, be physical with the wingers, and run at the defense.


DT: This is the second Philly game this week. Everyone knows the lack of rest is always hard on a team, but is there anyone who made the starting XI against New York you suspect might sit for the match against Houston?

ER: I'd look for Aaron Wheeler to sit not because of the workload but because he didn't play well in the last two matches. I'd also look for either Sebastien Le Toux or Leo Fernandes to sit for Brian Carroll. Neither Le Toux or Fernandes was terribly effective against New York, and Le Toux has been rather flat since the start of the season. Brian Carroll hasn't been great, but he's the Captain, he's rested, and perhaps most importantly he seems one of John Hackworth's favorites. BC will be in the Starting XI I'm sure.

Starting XI

Zac MacMath; Ray Gaddis - Amobi Okugo - Austin Berry - Sheanon Williams; Maurice Edu - Brian Carroll; Vincent Nogueira - Cristian Maidana - Sebastien Le Toux; Andrew Wenger

Scoreline

Neither team has played well lately, however I think the Union will find enough to win 2-1 at PPL Park.

For Eugene's questions for me as well as my answers, visit Brotherly Game, and feel free to converse with the natives. Just remember to keep it civilized as you do rep Dynamo Theory and Houston Dynamo.

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