The Houston Dynamo season is almost certainly nearing its end following their 2-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union at the beautiful PPL Park. While not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it would take a small miracle (winning out the season and having lots of favorable results from opponents in front of them) to see them in. The Dynamo found a bit of offensive momentum against the Union, but a combination of great goalkeeping and poorly placed shots saw the Dynamo fail to score on the road. On the defensive end, soft goals were once again a theme as small mistakes in the back led to chances that were taken advantage of by the Union.
The Dynamo utilized a lineup that resembled one from earlier in the year. Leonel Miranda rejoined the starting group as Erick Torres was relegated back to the bench. Oscar Boniek Garcia and Ricardo Clark paired in central midfield to provide more attaching potential out of central midfield, and Giles Barnes moved out of the midfield and into a withdrawn forward role underneath Will Bruin. Raul Rodriguez sat out due to yellow card accumulation suspension which shifted the back line up which gave room for Kofi Sarkodie to crack the starting lineup at right back.
Coyle's Starting XI against the Philadelphia Union
This is the 3rd and final meeting between the Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City this season. Each game has proven entertaining as Sporting Kansas City came back earlier in the year at BBVA Compass Stadium in controversial fashion to equalize in a 4-4 draw and the Dynamo were able to produce a 78th minute equalizer at Sporting Park in a road 1-1 draw. Both of the previous meetings have seen a Dynamo player ejected. First it was Jermaine Taylor and then Nathan Sturgis (so SKC is due an ejection).
The Dynamo will hope to get DaMarcus Beasley and Alex Lima back who each have participated in limited training last week. The two have proven influential both for their defensive skills and their offensive capabilities. Raul Rodriguez will also return following his suspension served against the Union which will supply leadership and awareness out of the back. One player who will not be on the field against Sporting Kansas City is Luis Garrido who picked up a stoppage time yellow card against the Union which suspends him for this match due to yellow card accumulation.
The defense, should Beasley rejoin the starting ranks, should be well equipped to handle a potent SKC offense. Rodriguez's intelligence, Horst's strength, and Williams's ability to easily get up and down the field should feel comfortable in front of a home crowd. Should Beasley not be ready to go, another option that was experimented with in the 2nd half against the Union featured Boniek at right back with Williams on the left side. The Dynamo offense, which has struggled lately, should feel ignited in a rivalry game that is never short on passion.
How would you lineup the Dynamo? Is it time to clear the bench and let the young crew handle things for the rest of the season? Or do we play our best guys in order to make it tough on SKC? Let us know your starting XI and how you'd lineup the team and feel free to share your formation in the comments below.