Owen Coyle has not played a consistent starting lineup yet this year for the Houston Dynamo and he took us all for a ride with last week's lineup which featured 3 central defending midfielders in what resembled a 4-5-1, but easily changed shape into a 4-3-3 when offense was needed.
Of course, after Ricardo Clark left before half time and DaMarcus Beasley left early into the 2nd half, the lineup took on a slightly different look.
Early into the 2nd half
This week presents itself an entirely new set of challenges as the Dynamo will be without several players as some will see time with their respective national teams and others will be sitting with injures. Right Midfielder, Right Winger, and sometimes Forward Oscar Boniek Garcia and Central Midfielder Luis Garrido will be with the Honduran National team while Defender Jermaine Taylor and Forward/Attacking Midfielder Giles Barnes will be with the Jamaican National team.
The injured list is pretty long, but the only player I would immediately rule out is Ricardo Clark who injured his chest in the game last week against the LA Galaxy. Others battling wounds but who could feature include DaMarcus Beasley, Raúl Rodríguez, and Nathan Sturgis.
The number of absences certainly opens up the possibilities for Owen Coyle and the formations and players that could feature depend on a lot. Playing against the Colorado Rapids presents a unique opportunity for many of the rookies and fringe players and in a way the Rapids are the perfect opponent for them to test their skills against. The Rapids have been a defensive standout early in the year not having conceded a goal in 2 matches, but their offense has failed to find the net in as many games as well. This isn't a team like LA where absorbing a lot of pressure will be a key to the game which provides plenty of chances for the more inexperienced lineup likely to feature.
So who is in your lineup? Are you banking on some key players returning and if not who gets the nod to replace them and in what formation? Let us know and explain your selections in the comments below!