The Dynamo continue their season opening sojurn as they await the completion of BBVA Compass Stadium with another trip to the west coast. This time, they head to Northern California to face the San Jose Earthqukes at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Both team got their 2012 campaigns off to a winning start last week and will be looking to continue the positive mojo in the second weekend. The Dynamo downed Chivas USA on a late goal from Andre Hainault, while the Quakes rode an early goal from Chris Wondolowski all the way to a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution.
Containing Wondo, who tied for the league lead with 16 goals in 2011, will be a key point for the Dynamo if they hope to leave San Jose with a result. It will be a good early season test for Houston who looked solid defensively, but not perfect, against the Goats.
More importantly, it's another chance for the offense to settle in and start scoring goals. For the second straight match, Luiz Camargo will not start as he's back in Houston with his wife who just gave birth, so Kinnear will have to work around not having his first choice central midfielder in the mix. Je-Vaughn Watson was mostly ineffective in the role last weekend, but he'll probably still get the start simply for a lack of other options.
Camargo's slow start and fitness issues were apparently due to a offseason car accident that kept him from running for awhile and visa delays connected to his pregnant wife. Fortunately, everything is worked out, the baby is healthy and Carmago is getting back up to speed.
The other big question from my perspective is who starts up front. Brian Ching and Will Bruin didn't shine when paired together in the first week, so we'll have to see if Kinnear chooses to start either Calen Carr or Macoumba Kandji to give the Dynamo attack some speed from the opening whistle. Whomever gets the start, will have to contend with Honduran central defender Victor Bernardez who impressed in his debut with the Earthquakes last weekend.
San Jose will be without Joey Gjertsen, Alan Gordon and Tim Ward, while midfielder Jacob Hustedt is questionable. Ike Opara will also miss the match after being called up to USMNT U-23 camp. The Dynamo have no injuries but Camargo and Kofi Sarkodie (also called up to U-23 camp) are unavailable.
This is the only league meeting between these teams in 2012.