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Know Your Enemy: Massive Report writer Patrick Murphy shares his thoughts ahead of Columbus Crew at Houston Dynamo

Ahead of Wednesday's match in Houston, Massive Report's Patrick Murphy offers some insight from the other side. How big is Wil Trapp's red card suspension and how can Houston Dynamo exploit his absence?

Here we see the Higuain in his natural habitat, arguing an official's call.
Here we see the Higuain in his natural habitat, arguing an official's call.

Dynamo Theory: Higuain is an obvious catalyst to the Columbus Crew offense. He is a threat on set pieces and in the run of play. What other attacking players should Houston Dynamo fans be aware of prior to Wednesday's match?

Patrick Murphy: If you're looking beyond Higuain for some offense I think you can start with the two outside midfielders for the Crew: Bernardo Anor and Hector Jimenez. With the style Columbus plays, the "wingers" tend to pinch in quite a bit and Anor especially will often act as that second forward. Both players have already scored this season - Anor had two goals against the Philadelphia Union - and have been involved in other goals. I would also say Waylon Francis is someone to keep an eye on. The Crew's left back will be consistently forward on the wings and has played some dangerous balls from his wide position.

DT: It's no secret the home of the Houston Dynamo, BBVA Compass Stadium, is nearly unpenetrable for opposing teams. What tactics do Columbus need to employ from an attacking standpoint to break through on the score sheet?

PM: Something that new head coach Gregg Berhalter has brought to Columbus is the mentality that they will not change their style for an opponent. The way this team wants to play is to possess the ball, get the outside backs forward, and pull the opposition apart, I don't believe they want to change anything for this game.

With that said, Wil Trapp received a red card in the Crew's game this weekend and he has been an anchor for the system. With him out for the first time this year, it will be interesting to see how Berhalter approaches the game. I believe they will continue to do the same things and ask another player to play Trapp's role, although Berhalter said after the Sporting Kansas City game that there was not a like-for-like player for Trapp.

DT: Wil Trapp is an absolute monster of a player, and has been terrorizing opposition left and right. What is it about Trapp that makes him so lethal?

PM: Trapp's best asset is sitting on top of his shoulders. He's a very smart player and understands how to play. At Akron, he played a similar style under Caleb Porter and I think that was part of the appeal of this system for Berhalter. Unfortunately you won't get to see Trapp in person this weekend, but it's fun to watch him move around the field. At points he will be playing central midfield, but as the opposition comes forward, he drops into the center back roles and Michael Parkhurst and Giancarlo Gonzalez slide wide until the outside backs can retreat.

Trapp has also been involved more offensively this season, beginning to play key balls as opposed to keeping things simple. He was named vice captain of this team at 21-years old, which shows you what those involved with this team think of him.

Lineup Prediction

PM: Lineup is tough because of the suspension to Trapp and a possible ankle injury to Jimenez. If I had to guess...


Score Prediction

2-1 Houston

For my answers to Patrick's questions, head over to Massive Report. As always, remember you represent Houston Dynamo fans and this blog, so if you stop by Massive Report please try to remain civil.