The new-look Houston Dynamo that Owen Coyle wanted to feature last week never had a chance to shine given goalkeeper Tyler Deric's red card early in the match which forced the team to sit back and absorb pressure from Columbus Crew SC. Coyle did deliver some of the changes he had promised by drastically shifting the formation and personnel of his starting XI. Instead of his 4-2-3-1, which Coyle has utilized all season, he slotted players into a 4-1-4-1. Regular starters Will Bruin, David Horst, Jalil Anibaba, and Joe Willis were all removed from the lineup to make way for central defender Agus, regular GK Tyler Deric, right back Sheanon Williams, and defensive central midfielder and Dynamo newcomer Collen Warner. This is a formation not unlike many of the road formations Coyle had used last year which featured up to 3 central defensive midfielders, but given the attacking prowess of Clark and versatility of Alex Lima, it definitely felt more robust than last year's iterations.
This week, the Dynamo face Real Salt Lake who currently sit in 4th place in the Western Conference with 14 points. The Dynamo will be without starting goalkeeper Tyler Deric, but Joe Willis put in a man of the match performance to keep the Dynamo from conceding any additional goals following the early penalty goal last week and he has proven himself a capable replacement. The team will also be without Alex Lima due to suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. That puts more pressure on Coyle's system and tactics as he hopes to find a group of personnel that can play attacking soccer while understanding defensive responsibilities.
My Projected Lineup
My projected lineup is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I think Bruin regains his position as a way to increase possession in the attacking third given his hold up play. That would push Barnes slightly outside, though he could play higher up the pitch overall, and we could see Cristian Maidana retake a starting position alongside Ricardo Clark in central midfield with Collen Warner providing clean-up duty as a CDM. Of course we could see plenty of other players involved in the starting XI including Oscar Boniek Garcia, Erick Torres, Mauro Manotas, David Rocha, Leonel Miranda, or Rob Lovejoy in midfield or forward positions. The backline could also feature David Horst and Agus in central defense with Raul Rodriguez at right back. There are plenty of options and with the Dynamo desperate for results, now is the time to shake things up.
So who do you want to see in the starting XI against Real Salt Lake? Let us know below and please share your choices in the comment section!