It would seem like the schedule for the Houston Dynamo has finally begun to slow to a reasonable pace. With the US Open Cup out of the picture, the All-Star Game in the rear view mirror, and no more big international competitions on the horizon, things are settling in *knocks on wood*.
The Dynamo recently bested the 2nd best team in the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy, at BBVA Compass Stadium last week 3-0 in a match that certainly brought hope to fans with an inspired performance all around. The Dynamo were short 8 of their players due to call-ups, injuries, and suspensions, and were on their 3rd game in a week's time, but were still able to come together for 3 big points.
The Dynamo utilized many of the same players that they had in their previous MLS matchup against Real Salt Lake and their Open Cup match against Sporting Kansas City. However, CB AJ Cochran was played at LB to allow Raúl Rodríguez to focus his efforts on containing Robbie Keane. Newcomer Sheanon Williams also got his first start at RB and performed very well even though he had only been in the city less than 2 days prior to the game.
Coyle's Starting XI against the LA Galaxy
The Dynamo will be looking to get back at Sporting Kansas City, who knocked them out of the Open Cup Quarterfinals last week. SKC had 3 players in the All-Star game in Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber, and Matt Besler compared to the Dynamo's only representative DaMarcus Beasley. Both teams have had time to rest, but the Dynamo will be looking to get back at SKC after their freak 4-4 tie at BBVA earlier in the year and their Open Cup farewell last week.
The Dynamo will have a variety of options at their disposal with the Gold Cup over with (about time, am I right?) and with players returning from suspension. That means the Dynamo will regain All-Star left back DaMarcus Beasley - who could be rested if Coyle feels it's necessary after his ASG appearance, and Jamaican star forward/midfielder Giles Barnes.
Additionally, the Dynamo will get back the services of Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido who were suspended for the LA match for a red card and yellow card accumulation respectively received at Rio Tinto Stadium against RSL the previous week. However, the team lost some depth as Chandler Hoffman and Zach Steinberger were each loaned out this week in order to get playing time away from the club. Rob Lovejoy, Jermaine Taylor, and Oscar Boniek Garcia remain sidelined with injuries, but with Alex Lima and Leonel Miranda playing well at the moment, Coyle isn't rushing Lovejoy or Boniek back to training just yet.
How does Coyle work his returning players into the lineup after the others found so much success against the Galaxy? You could play a combination of Will Bruin, who scored a goal in Open Cup and a goal against LA, Giles Barnes, and Cubo up front. In the back would you play Williams, Rodríguez, or Sarkodie at RB? Which players do you want to see take down SKC? Let us know your starting XI and explain your choices in the comments below!