The Houston Dynamo came out and surprised many of the on-lookers at the newly renovated BMO Field by not only winning, but winning convincingly 2-1 against Toronto FC in their home opener. DaMarcus Beasley - who was part of a great Throw Back Thursday prank recently, drew a penalty against his former USMNT teammate Michael Bradley. Oscar Boniek Garcia stepped up to take it, and although TFC goalkeeper Chris Konopka made the initial save, Boniek tapped the rebound home to put the visitors up. Will Bruin started again and his presence opened up Giles Barnes to be a playmaker which in turn helped the Dancing Bear find his way on the score sheet.
Most interestingly about Owen Coyle's starting group was the exclusion of Kofi Sarkodie. David Horst and Jermaine Taylor anchored the central defense which slotted Raúl Rodríguez in at Sarkodie's usual right back position. Also missing from the unit was Brad Davis who sat out with a hamstring injury.
Owen Coyle's Starting XI
The Fan Selected Squad was slightly different as though the 4-4-2 formation remained (though we can debate about what formation the Dynamo "technically" played in), it differed in key areas. Goal scorer Will Bruin was left out as Chandler Hoffman earned enough votes to find his way into the fan starting group along with David Horst and Sarkodie in the back. Brad Davis was also included because his injury had not been reported at the time of the post, but Rob Lovejoy would have finished 2nd in the LM category over Coyle's starter Alex Lopez.
Fan Selected Starting XI against Toronto FC
Owen Coyle continues to shake things up to surprise opponents and fans alike and the Dynamo will now come home after their first road victory of the season to face the Portland Timbers - a team that is in a similar position as us. Both teams are even on points and are underperforming in the minds of each team's respective fans. The Dynamo will have to deal with the likes of Diego Valeri who has wasted no time becoming a difference maker for the club as he put up the game winning goal in his return to the starting lineup.
The injury report still lists Nathan Sturgis as out due to his shoulder dislocation against Dallas, so expect Luis Garrido and Ricardo Clark to still pair together in central midfield. Brad Davis is also still listed as out and due to Alex Lopez's recent performances they might not rush back the Dynamo Captain. The Dynamo have also recently added to their forward line with their addition of Mauro Manotas, though he won't feature until his paperwork is cleared and completed.
So who do you want in your starting XI against the Portland Timbers? Would you ride the convincing momentum of last week's win over Toronto, or try and play the match ups differently? Let us know and feel free to comment below about your choices.