The Houston Dynamo had a week off to contemplate their approach to their last home game of the regular season. In the Dynamo's previous matchup they failed to drop in-state rival FC Dallas in a devastating 4-1 loss which saw Raul Rodriguez red carded in the final minutes of play. The Dynamo are essentially out of cards at this point and now must win against Seattle and have Portland lose to the LA Galaxy (and who really enjoys rooting for the Galaxy outside of this case?) in order to remain playoff relevant.
Owen Coyle had a few missteps in his lineup against FC Dallas although it was largely one that had seen success in previous fixtures. With Boniek returning from his red card suspension, Coyle inserted Boniek into the right defender spot over Sheanon Williams in order to create more chances offensively. The downside to this move was Boniek lacked the defensive capabilities to handle the talents of Fabian Castillo. Coyle realized this and removed Rasheed Olayibi, who had committed a goal costly foul outside of the 18 yard box, and corrected it by inserting Williams into right back and bringing Boniek into central midfield. However, the Dynamo struggled moving the ball up the field and connecting with their attackers and were punished when they over committed on offense.
Coyle's Starting XI against FC Dallas
Sounder matches against the Dynamo are always stubborn affairs, but feature plenty of memories (where the Dynamo are generally successful). Earlier this season the Dynamo fell 1-0 despite holding a man advantage over Seattle. Despite the result and the 11 vs. 10 advantage, the Dynamo played well in their road appearance in Seattle.
The Dynamo will have plenty of players available to play in this one and many others have benefited from rest (and the loss of sting from the FC Dallas defeat) ahead of this fixture. Kofi Sarkodie (bone bruise) and Jermaine Taylor (quad tear) remain doubtful though both have had rest throughout the weeks to regain mention in reader voting.
In the Dynamo's previous meeting with the Sounders they utilized a 5-man midfield consisting of 3 central midfielders in order to slow the pace of the game down. They could revert back to this as Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey are expected to play, or they could continue utilizing Giles Barnes beneath Will Bruin with a flat 4 midfield behind them which has the flanks (and Ricardo Clark) push forward as necessary.
Of course, nothing is written in stone, especially when the season is not in Owen Coyle's hands. One thing is certain, if this is the final game at BBVA Compass Stadium, he won't want to make it a loss.
Will we see a veteran heavy lineup, one similar to the FC Dallas loss (with adjustments), or something entirely different with next season on the horizon? Let us know how you would line up the squad ahead of our match against the Seattle Sounders in the last home game of the year!