The Houston Dynamo are coming off a 2-0 win over Western Conference leaders the Vancouver Whitecaps in a game that surprised many following their previous defeat to the Colorado Rapids. Owen Coyle deployed an offense friendly lineup that featured Giles Barnes, Will Bruin, and Erick "Cubo" Torres together to help produce chances, but Barnes and Cubo also helped by drawing fouls which resulted in the ‘Caps picking up a pair of red cards. The game also saw the return of season regulars such as Ricardo Clark and DaMarcus Beasley - although Beasley had to leave the match after aggravating a calf injury.
The win provided the Dynamo with renewed life in their hunt for the elusive final playoff spot and the team hopes to carry their momentum from their win over Vancouver to Real Salt Lake who currently holds the bottom spot in the Western Conference. RSL won't be an easy foe to best. In their last meeting the Dynamo were bested 2-0 at Rio Tinto in a frustrating match that had several players away on international duty and featured an early 2nd half red card to Kofi Sarkodie. The Dynamo will need their regular core of players to handle the attacking talents of Javier Morales and Joao Plata while producing plenty of chances of their own.
Coyle's Starting XI against the Vancouver Whitecaps
The Dynamo were one of the many MLS sides that didn't play last week due to an international break, although the break in the schedule didn't help all clubs as Columbus had 9 players with their national team and still had to play. While the break had a few benefits and consequences for the Dynamo, getting rest was one thing the club needed most.
Players called up included Giles Barnes (Jamaica), Oscar Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido (Honduras), and Erick Torres (Mexico) which could leave a few players less than fresh for a crucial game against RSL, but extended rest for Ricardo Clark, Raúl Rodríguez, and DaMarcus Beasley could help the Dynamo prevent mistakes in the back which a creative team like RSL could exploit.
So how would you line up the Dynamo if you were the head honcho? Do you go for the gusto and play another attacking lineup regardless of international duty? Do you rest players like Giles Barnes and Cubo and bring them in later? Or do you play a lineup that is designed to win the midfield? Real Salt Lake will be without 2015 MLS All-Star defender Tony Beltran and midfielder Luke Mulholland which could impact how Coyle lines up his players. How will it affect your choices if you were in control? Let us know your starting XI and feel free to share your formation and XI in the comments.
Luis Garrido returned from international duty with a hamstring injury and won't be available. DaMarcus Beasley is also a question mark as he recovers from his lingering calf injury. Alex Lima picked up a hamstring strain in practice, but should be available and Kofi Sarkodie participated in limited training on the side earlier this week and should be ready to return if he's needed.