At long last, Erick Torres has arrived. The Mexican striker known as "Cubo" flew into town on Thursday and will join the team for their Saturday evening match at Real Salt Lake. But don't get your hopes up - he's unlikely to play just yet. Instead, Cubo looks ready to debut at Houston's Open Cup match next week in Kansas City. Without Cubo, the Dynamo are left to reorganize their squad after a hectic week of movements.
There's the Hondurans' arrival after a failed Gold Cup campaign. Luis Garrido is back with the team though Boniek Garcia looks to sit out with an injury picked up while on International duty. Neither played in any of Honduras' three matches.
Corey Ashe also saw a resolution to his year of playing issues by moving to Orlando City SC. The Dynamo did not receive any active players (just allocation money and a draft pick) and the timing could certainly be seen as poor with DaMarcus Beasley leaving to join the United States for the Gold Cup's knockout rounds. That leaves an all-hands-on-deck situation for the defense which will see Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Raul Rodriguez, AJ Cochran, and rookie Taylor Hunter as the only defenders available.
Real Salt Lake enter Saturday's match with roster alterations, too, after trading their striker Alvaro Saborio (who is out on national team duty with Costa Rica). The player received in the transaction, DC United's forward Luis Silva, is doubtful for the weekend. Thanks to the Gold Cup, RSL are also without Demar Phillips (Jamaica), Kyle Beckerman, and Nick Rimando. Oh, and head coach Jeff Cassar was red-carded in the last match so he won't be coaching this one.
On the defending side of the ball, Houston will need to watch how Joao Plata, Devon Sandoval, and Javier Morales combine. These three players, under normal circumstances, would be enough for Dynamo defenders to keep an eye on but, with just a single defender on the bench and a ragtag group on the field, this might be harder than fans are accustomed to.
With that said, Real Salt Lake were able to pull off an Open Cup quarterfinal win earlier this week over an LA Galaxy team that featured a good bit of firepower - Robbie Keane, Sebastian Lletget, and Steven Gerrard. The secret to that stood between the posts and was named Jeff Attinella - the backup keeper behind Nick Rimando. Attinella posted just three saves and a punch against LA but he was able to stuff a Gerrard one-on-one and proved himself quite acrobatic in goal. Will Bruin will need to be more clever than usual with his shot selection to tally for Houston on Saturday.
The Houston Dynamo are at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night to face Real Salt Lake at 9:00PM CDT. The match will be broadcast on ROOT Sports and radio is available on 1560AM/850AM.