The Houston Dynamo battled it out in a playoff paced game in their 1-1 draw to D.C. United last week. The road point featured Ricardo Clark's 2nd goal in as many games whose goal came in the 2nd half after Owen Coyle made the halftime formation change to include forward Will Bruin.
The starting lineup contained the usual bunch we've come to expect, including dark horse team MVP candidate Nathan Sturgis. Raúl Rodríguez also made his return to the starting XI after battling a concussion which sent center back David Horst to the bench. Oscar Boniek Garcia missed out in this one due to a lingering knee injury which saw fellow Honduran countryman Alexander Lopez take his place in the right side of midfield - that's right, 4 CM's started in the 5 man midfield.
The formation would change at halftime as the Dynamo were down a goal and looked to equalize. This brought on Will Bruin for Luis Garrido and shifted the formation from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2.
Fan Selected Starting XI against DC United
The fan selected squad was similar to Coyle's starting group in some ways and different in others. Notably, Lovejoy, Horst, and Boniek were included (his status was not updated at the time) while Coyle's starters Lopez, Sturgis, and Rodríguez were excluded.
This weekend will bring a lot of questions about who is starting and who isn't. Coyle is the type of coach that rewards effort and that means Sturgis and Clark are fixtures. Furthermore, Coyle had good things to say of Alex Lopez and Will Bruin following their positive performances against DCU. The Dynamo don't look too banged up as Bruin's toe injury won't set him back - though Boniek could still miss time. This could make way for a formation change if Coyle stays with Bruin or he could use him as an impact player the way he did off the bench.
The real question is who do you want in your starting XI against our former Eastern Conference rival that followed us over to the West? Let us know and feel free to comment below about your selections!