The Houston Dynamo kept their playoff hopes alive by pulling out a satisfying 1-0 victory over rivals Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo will need to continue to put together 3 point performances if they'd like to see the post season and a large part of the credit for their win can go to Owen Coyle's decision to insert youth into the lineup. Dynamo newcomer Rasheed Olabiyi played a large role alongside Dynamo veteran Ricardo Clark in central midfield providing defensive cover in the midfield and supplying passes into the offense.
Owen Coyle was also lucky to have DaMarcus Beasley back on the left side of defense. Beasley, who recovered from a lingering calf injury, was able to play the entire 90 minutes and was influential in the team's success defensively and offensively. Raul Rodriguez also returned from his yellow card accumulation suspension and proved useful in distributing the ball from the back. Coyle also elected to start Leonel Miranda at right midfield and Oscar Boniek Garcia at right back which provided plenty of attractive link up play along the right side of the field.
Coyle's Starting XI against Sporting Kansas City
This is the final regular season meeting between the Dynamo and Rapids this year. The Dynamo drew their first match with the Rapids 0-0 at home and fell 2-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in late August. None of the matches have had too much offensive flair, but the Rapid's decision to stay away from their usual defensive formation could prove trouble.
The Dynamo now have an abundance of players to choose from as Beasley and Alex Lima both played minutes against Kansas City leaving Jermaine Taylor the lone Dynamo player out on injury. Furthermore, defensive midfielder Luis Garrido will rejoin the squad having served his yellow card accumulation suspension. The Dynamo will not have the services of Oscar Boniek Garcia who received a 2nd yellow card against Kansas City.
The real question for the Dynamo at this point in the season is how it utilizes its personnel. Does it continue vying for a playoff spot, no matter how out of reach it may be, or does it insert fresh legs off the bench to provide experience for the younger players?
How would you lineup the Dynamo? Do you use mostly first team players? Mix things up? Or do you clear the bench entirely? Let us know your starting lineup and your formation and feel free to share your picks in the comments below.