Coming off a disappointing 0-0 draw against the Seattle Sounders, the Houston Dynamo now face the LA Galaxy in the last game at BBVA Compass Stadium of the year. In the game against the Sounders interim manager Wade Barrett utilized several new additions to the starting lineup including Keyner Brown, Jose Escalante, and Eric Alexander. Early against the Sounders the Dynamo largely dug themselves into a hole as they repeatedly withstood barrage after barrage of attacks, but were able to find the occasional counter attack which led to some of the best moments on goal of the entire game – notably Will Bruin’s shot that was saved by Sounder goalkeeper Stefan Frei which rattled the woodwork.
With the playoffs not a possibility and the midweek matchup with Seattle, we could see a new lineup against the LA Galaxy – which for the Galaxy will not feature former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard. For the Dynamo their motivations are clear: win the last game of the year at home and give fans something to look forward to the next season.
The Dynamo have experienced plenty of highs and lows this year with both of their managers, but with Wade Barrett aiming for a job we can expect a quality lineup. That’s a lineup that should include Mauro Manotas in the central forward position and he should find plenty of support behind him with Oscar Boniek Garica, who was largely rested last week until subbed on late to see a role. Cristian Maidana could also come into play at either a wide position or a central attacking midfield position.
Given the midweek game, Barrett has more options to experiment with in order to both keep players fresh and evaluate. We’ve already seen some combinations of his tinkering after the Dynamo were eliminated from the playoffs, but we could see more this week – though don’t expect too much. I would anticipate a similar lineup to what we’re used to with David Horst coming back into the starting fold given his strong performance at Seattle. Further along the backline, after DaMarcus Beasley appeared to leave last week’s game with an injury, Jalil Anibaba could shift in to LB with Raul Rodriguez pairing alongside Horst.
Midfield is harder to predict for the Dynamo, and although Jose Escalante is practicing again, I would not pin him to be a starter – though it’s excellent news that the youngster isn’t too injured after an encounter with the turf monster in Seattle. Rather Maidana and Alex Lima should be pegged to start after not seeing time earlier in the week.
My Projected Starting Lineup
In my projected lineup, I think that Beasley is rested after the midweek game and possibly a minor injury scare. That would put Anibaba back in at LB with RR and Horst at CB with Sheanon Williams holding it down at RB. In the center of the field Collen Warner and Ricardo Clark keep their partnership together with Chaco Maidana as the playmaking central midfielder. Out wide Alex Lima is back along with Boniek as they should provide pressure to the LA Galaxy backs. Mauro Manotas will be the CF and will need support from the midfield behind him.
There are plenty of options to choose from so who do you want to see start against the LA Galaxy? Let us know below and share your starting squad in the comments below!