The Houston Dynamo limp home after falling 2-0 on the road to Real Salt Lake on Saturday in league play and 3-1 at Sporting Kansas City in the Quarterfinals of the US Open Cup this last Tuesday as they look to turn their fortune around against the surging Los Angeles Galaxy. The Dynamo utilized similar lineups for both of the matches this past week with only 4 differences to the starting lineup between the two games.
The Real Salt Lake match wasn't without controversy - which officiating seems to be the theme of the month for soccer in general, as Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido will both be ineligible to play due to a match red card and yellow card accumulation respectively. However, the real controversy came when Alex Lima was on the receiving end of an elbow delivered by Abdoulie Mansally which saw no official action and left Alex's nose broken.
The LA Galaxy have been electric lately, managing 4 wins in their last 5 scoring 4 goals or more in all of their wins. English icon and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has joined their ranks and combined well with the reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane. The good news for Dynamo fans is that the Galaxy haven't managed a win on the road all season, but they'll be looking to do so against tired legs and a shorthanded Dynamo side.
Coyle's Starting XI against Sporting Kansas City
Tired legs for the Dynamo will be a factor as 7 players appeared in the starting lineups against RSL and SKC. The Dynamo will also be without Giles Barnes, who recently delivered the winning goal over the US Men's National for Jamaica along with DaMarcus Beasley who provided veteran leadership from the bench for the US.
The Dynamo injury report also includes Rob Lovejoy (hamstring), Oscar Boniek Garcia (adductor injury), and Alex Lima (broken nose), while Jermaine Taylor suffered an adductor injury with the Jamaican National Team.
This all sounds very bad (because it is), but Erick "Cubo" Torres made his Dynamo debut for the Dynamo in our Open Cup fall to Sporting Kansas City and will have some of the fresher legs in the Dynamo forward group. The Dynamo also made a trade for the versatile Philadelphia Union defender Sheanon Williams. Coyle may elect to not play Williams until he has integrated into the squad, but suspensions, injuries, and call-ups may force him to play the experienced defender.
How Owen Coyle decides to weigh his decision to rest players, push them, play/start newcomers like Cubo or Williams, or alter his formation isn't known. This is the very first 3 games in a week scenario after all, but a win over the 2nd best team in the Western Conference would do wonders for the team's confidence.
So how would you lineup against the stars from LA? Do you push your regulars like Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark, and Will Bruin or do you give other players (what healthy players we have that is) a chance to take down a Western Conference giant? Let us know your starting XI and explain your choices in the comments below!