The Houston Dynamo showed some of their offensive flair and defensive missteps in their 2-2 draw against conference foe the Portland Timbers. Dynamo leading scorer Will Bruin added to his tally while Oscar Boniek Garcia rejoined the starting lineup for the first time since his injury with the Honduran National Team.
This week, the Dynamo face Western Conference bottom the Colorado Rapids, but will have to deal with the stingiest defenses in the league in terms of goals allowed. It's fair to say that the Dynamo desperately need a win to keep playoff hopes alive.
Against the Timbers, the Dynamo had a number of players that missed out due to injury from their previous match against the New England Revolution. Giles Barnes and DaMarcus Beasley both missed out on the action which paved the way for Boniek and Kofi Sarkodie to rejoin the starting group. Owen Coyle, always one to experiment with his starting XI, also opted to bench Nathan Sturgis in favor of Dynamo newcomer Rasheed Olabiyi, who had played well in brief showings off the bench.
Coyle's Starting XI against the Portland Timbers
The Dynamo will have a number of players back to health this week including Giles Barnes, DaMarcus Beasley, and Ricardo Clark. While Clark has been one of Coyle's favorite players who rejoined full training this week following his hamstring injury that he suffered scoring a crucial tying goal against Sporting Kansas City, it may be too soon to see him feature against the Rapids (though definitely don't count that out).
There are a number of options that Owen Coyle could elect to employ against the Rapids, a team that is among the best defensively, but lack potency on offense. That could mean starting Erick "Cubo" Torres, though unlikely at the expense of Will Bruin who had an excellent showing at Portland, or putting Giles Barnes back into the lineup following his brief injury. Boniek also showed plenty of promise in a difficult environment against the Timbers to merit another start while his Honduran countryman Luis Garrido didn't control the center of midfield as well as he should have.
Ideally, the Dynamo will want an offense heavy squad to pressure a very good defense with a midfield that can start counters to catch the defense off guard. How that translates to a lineup though is completely up to interpretation.
My Projected Lineup against the Rapids
How would you line up the Dynamo if you were in charge? Do you put a few guys coming off injury back into the mix, go for the strongest lineup "personnel wise", or provide opportunities for others? Colorado isn't a team to take lightly, despite their poor offensive production, so it's a match that the Dynamo will need to be sound defensively in as well. Let us know your starting XI below and share your exact formation/XI in the comments.