Dynamo v Columbus Crew
Robertson Stadium - 7:30pm CT
TV: KHOU 11.2, TV Informa
Radio: 790 AM (English), 850 AM (Spanish)
The Dynamo welcome the Easter Conference leading Columbus Crew to Robertson Stadium on Saturday in what likely be a tough, physical match up. The Dynamo are coming off a 3-1 loss to Chivas USA in the Open Cup and too say they looked lackluster might be a bit of an understatement.
The match comes at a critical point for the Dynamo who are sitting with 18 points, 6th place in the Western Conference and if they started today, out of the playoffs. It's hardly time to panic, but the chronic inconsistency and defensive issues that have plagued Houston all season are reason for concern. Getting the full three points from every home match the rest of the way will be vital for the Dynamo as they attempt to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since since moving to Houston.
On the injury front, Luis Landin is out with a knee strain and midfielder Brad Davis remains questionable with his hip flexor.
Call me crazy but it just seems like Joseph Ngwenya is being played out out position. Of course, this point is mute for Saturday since he will be serving a red-card suspension but trying to proverbially jam a round peg in a square hole by playing Ngwenya in a CAM role seems counter-productive. From my perspective, Ngwenya needs to be playing up front in tandem with Ching and not behind him. I understand why Kinnear is playing him out of position but it's doesn't seem to be working.
Ultimately the problem is a lack of a true central attacking mid to play at the top of the midfield diamond that Kinnear loves to employ. While the roster is loaded with wing depth, there was no plan-B if something happened to Geoff Cameron and the Dynamo are clearly paying for this. I like the idea of putting Landin in this role, but the experiment didn't have a chance to be fully tested with his recent injury.
With the transfer window about to open, there is a definite need for Houston to find someone to fill the CAM role until Cameron returns. Of course, I think the better move would be the signing of a CAM that you are comfortable going forward with and moving Cameron back in to the defense next to Bobby Boswell. Not that it will happen, but this seems like a better solution to the team's problems at the moment.