The Houston Dynamo will begin their search for an interim coach following Owen Coyle's departure after the match against FC Dallas. That means Assistant Wade Barrett, Sports Director Paul Caffrey, and Goalkeeper Coach Paul Rogers will once again split managerial duties. The three combined to some effect on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend as the club earned its first point away from BBVA Compass Stadium in 2016. Many of the players had expressed excitement and have rallied around Wade Barrett in hopes this trial run could lead to him being named the official interim coach for the year. Going to Dallas and getting a result would go a long way towards securing that title for Barrett, but it will be no easy task as FCD are currently undefeated at Toyota Park with a 5-0-2 record.
The high mark for the season for the Dynamo, and there aren't too many of them, would be the club's astonishing 5-0 win at home against their in-state rivals. Dallas will hope to respond to the win in front of their own fans, but Houston could win the race for El Capitán with a victory which would snap a 3 season Texas Derby losing streak.
While we were unsure how exactly our current 3-headed interim coach would line up the squad in their previous match against Vancouver, we now have a bit more of an idea. The starting XI wasn't radically different, but the formation put more emphasis on the midfield and its role to support the defense while being able to provide opportunities higher up the pitch. The Dynamo lined up in a 4-1-4-1 with 3 central midfielders including Collen Warner as the defensive holding midfielder, Ricardo Clark, and Oscar Boniek Garcia. Alex Lima, who will be unavailable due to his red card that he received at Vancouver, played the left wing position which could mean we see Boniek or Leonel Miranda take the position at Dallas. Giles Barnes will also miss out as he remains with the Jamaican National Team.
The difficulty the coaching staff will have to work around is finding support to the forward(s). No forward or midfield player finished with a shot on target against Vancouver and the only players that did were defenders. The team needs to find a way to balance those offensive needs with defensive cover which could mean a move to another formation. This move could be made easier by Alex's suspension as it opens up a spot for a potential forward.
My Projected Lineup
I don't see Barrett and the Paul's changing things up too much. Putting too much emphasis on scoring leaves the back open against a very talented FCD side that can punish with speed and creativity. With Erick Torres returning, I think he gets the nod up front as Bruin was largely ineffective and I could see Leonel Miranda slotting into Alex Lima's position.
My Preferred Lineup
In my preferred lineup I'd like to see a return to a 4-4-2 (flat) so that the team can increase time on the offensive end of the ball. Boniek is more of a two-way player than Miranda so he would be the logical choice at LM. I would also bench Sheanon Williams in favor of Raul Rodriguez who is a better passer and another set piece target alongside Agus and David Horst. This lineup, or a variation on it, is not outside the possibility for the coaching staff to implement, but I think it's also risky enough for them to avoid simply given that a coaching position could be on the line.
How would you like to see the club lineup against our in-state foes? Let us know below and share your formation and XI in the comment section.