It was not even a week ago when the Houston Dynamo last played, but it sure seems longer, doesn't it?
In just the six days since the draw in Columbus (Honest to goodness, back on me olde site, I once had a Q&A with some numbskull Columbus blogger, and one question my compatriot Mr3D wanted to ask was "How do you live in the Midwest without wanting to commit seppuku every damn day?" I felt that was a valid question, personally.), there have been two completely amazing Champions League games that have put me off predicting sporting events for-freakin'-ever (or at least until the end of this post, whichever comes first), my 2012 Dynamo season tickets arrived that included an absolutely amazing mirrored surface on the May 12 ducat (Screw you, hologrammers) and the Dynamo third kit was officially released and (surprisingly) well-received (that is, if you look at the poll I put up here yesterday with only four negatives out of 53 votes, which is what happens when you decide not to use blazing cyan for a third kit).
And yes, that previous paragraph does indeed qualify as one sentence, but for the sake of you, I will now dispense with parentheticals. I'm just a cot-damned saint, ain't I?
Anyway, back to work, which is exactly what the Houston Dynamo are planning tomorrow night against
Baltimore DC United at 6:30 p.m. God's-own Time. This is the team against which the Orange will play two of their next three, and three is something of a magic number here, as it has been that many years since the RFKers last won. The Dynamo are 7-3-2 overall against the once-proud club, including 4-0-1 since United's last win on April 4, 2009.
In case you missed it, United beat the spiritual inheritors of the legacy of the 1999 Metrostars last week 4-1 behind a hat trick from Chris Pontius. I was watching that game, and let me tell you, it's hard to put into words kind of effort New York put in there, but I'll try. It was B-A-D bad, and not in a good way. So as far as predictive value from that game, I would venture to guess that there is N-O-N-E none. I mean, United is a fine team and all, and you still have to put the little ball into that big ol' goal, but when the other defense decides to play like they're connected by a big metal pole through their midsections and no player controlling the handles, the only question remaining is "Four? How did you not score eight?"
This week, DC looks to be facing a somewhat stiffer challenge from an Orange defense that has put together quite a display so far this season. Though the midfield continues to be something of a question mark. To wit:
OUT: FW Brian Ownby (L elbow dislocation); FW Colin Rolfe (R hamstring strain);
DOUBTFUL: MF Brad Davis (L calf strain); DF Corey Ashe (L hamstring strain); DF Warren Creavalle (L ankle sprain)
Of course, maybe "Doubtful" doesn't tell the whole story, because according to Darrell Rovell in this piece here, Ashe and Davis are both back and looking to play. So where lay-eth the truth, pray? Well, your guess is as good as mine, and injury reports are about as reliable as the rhythm method, so I expect to see them personally. Of bigger concern to me is this little passage from that link:
While they got Davis and Ashe back Thursday, Houston were without US international Geoff Cameron.
"He had a bit of a headache today, we sent him to the doctor and we’ll see him tomorrow," Kinnear said of the center back's absence.
Bit of a headache, so they sent him to the doctor? I don't know about you, but I generally don't go to the doctor for a "bit of a headache." And I'm pretty much not even close (like astronomical units away) to being an elite athlete. So, when the team sheet comes out tomorrow, you can bet that the make-up of that defensive line will be the first thing I look at.
In the post preceding this one, Zach has a predicted lineup of Hall; Hainault, Cameron, Boswell, Ashe/Taylor; Moffat, Watson, Davis/Ashe/Kandji, Camargo; Bruin, Ching, and I see little to disagree with there. However, as Michael_D and others have asked, who does Alex Dixon have to get naked pictures of to get some game time? If both Ashe and Davis are out, I would sincerely hope that Dixon gets slotted over on the left there. I would not put Je-Vaughn Watson over on the left. I mean, he's a train wreck enough with his natural-footed side. Why make it worse? That would give me a midfield four of Dixon-Camargo-Moffat-Watson, though judging on what we have seen so far this season, if Ashe is out, it would probably be Kandji-Camargo-Moffat-Watson. Sorry Alex.
However, not to get everyone's hopes up or nuthin', and by "everyone" I mean Michael_D, here is the projected starting line-up from the Dynamo press office's own pre-game notes:
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP (4-4-2, Right-Left)
Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Taylor;
Je-Vaughn Watson, Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Alex Dixon
Will Bruin, Brian Ching
If the worst happens and Cameron's headache turns out to be something more than a simple hangover, and if Ashe is either in the midfield or out completely, I would expect the back four to be something like this: Taylor-Hainault-Boswell-Kofi Sarkodie. Getting Sarkodie on that field would be a fantastic thing to see. Though of course, I'm hoping the doctor gave Cameron a packet of BC Powder and told him that just because the bars don't close until 2 a.m., you don't have to stay there until then. But if not, then His Royal Highness might just finally get a game.
So, seeing as how for-freakin'-ever is just too long for a real addict to hold out, I will now hazard a prediction for Saturday night's game. D(amned)C United are on a 6-game unbeaten run that looks like this: T-W-T-W-T-W. So it would make perfect sense that, with Dynamo playing the sixth of a seven-game road trip and all the crap that goes with that, and the Orange have produced two draws in the last two, AND DT Supreme Overlord Woosley himself has predicted a 1-1 draw, I am instead going with a 2-0 Dynamo win. United just had a huge win at home against a big rival who did everything but hand them that game. That will be the case against the Dynamo. This just screams "trap game" for United, and as we all know, the Bear Trap that is Will Bruin just loves tearing apart anything in Red and Black.
Another prediction: Danny Cruz will get tossed. Book it.