The Houston Dynamo currently sit in the 2nd to last place in the league after holding the last spot last weekend, but a 2-0 win over rivals Sporting Kansas City helped the team get its first win and clean sheet since March 12th. The win is just the Dynamo's 2nd all season and they're hoping to build on this win despite a short turnaround and a game against Real Salt Lake this weekend.
Against SKC Head Coach Owen Coyle deployed something of a new-look lineup as he brought in Erick Torres to start as the lone center forward in his predictable 4-2-3-1 formation. However he also brought back playmaker Cristian Maidana into the fold and the two played an immediate impact as they each notched assists to Giles Barnes and Andrew Wenger respectively. Along the back line David Horst and Agus paired in central defense ousting usual starting CB Raul Rodriguez while Jalil Anibaba took the starting role back at right defense. The results proved to be in the Dynamo's favor, but poor passing, turnovers, and an inability to win long ball passes provided plenty of chances for their visiting opponents.
This week they team will face 5th place in the Western Conference the San Jose Earthquakes as the club travels to Avaya Stadium to play against their old manager, Dominic Kinnear. In just a short turnaround and another game looming this Saturday, Coyle has several directions to go in, but I would predict he doesn't stray too far from the product that finally earned the club some points. While an official injury report for the Dynamo has not been released at this time, it's important to note that DaMarcus Beasley left last week's fixture with a small knock so he may rest this match and play in the next one. That would pave the way for Abdoulie Mansally who shares Beasley's fondness for pushing up the flanks. Cubo Torres is set to join the Mexican U-23 National Team, but will remain with the club through the games against the Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. That likely means a start in at least one of the matches given his level of play against SKC and I would predict he gets it in San Jose.
My Preferred Lineup
My Projected Lineup
In my preferred lineup we see a back line that incorporates the toughness and clear first mentality that we are given with the pairing of Horst and Agus while combining the passing abilities of Raul Rodriguez as he shifts to right back. Up top Bruin and Cubo can help increase the time of possession up the field while the midfield looks closely the same. In my projected lineup the lineup doesn't change much from last week's iteration and it just includes Mansally in for Beasley.
However, it's really hard to tell how Coyle will lineup the Dynamo given the fact that they will play 3 games in just a week by next Saturday so things could be more fluid than I predicted. I just believe he wants to ride his momentum before coming home to play RSL. But let us know who you'd want to see in the starting XI over Dominic Kinnear's San Jose Earthquakes and please share your choices in the comment section!