Wade Barrett hopes to earn his first win in a MLS game since being named the interim head coach for the rest of the season for the Houston Dynamo. Barrett led the team, alongside Sports Director Paul Caffrey and Goalkeeper Coach Paul Rogers, to draws at Vancouver and in Dallas. Both of those clubs held very strong home records which prompted the front office to give Barrett a shot to lead the club for the rest of 2016.
This week the Dynamo will face D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium, a club that does not travel well to Houston. In the last 6 matches in Houston, DCU has won just a single game without any draws. That last win was also DC's last visit in Houston and was back in 2014 when they bested the Dynamo to the tune of 3-1. DC currently sits in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 16 points, just 3 more points than the Dynamo, and would hope a win at Houston puts some space between themselves and other clubs looking to climb the Eastern Conference table.
While Barrett did reasonably well in his first MLS games helping the club earn its first two road draws of the season, he didn't shake the lineup up too much from his predecessor Owen Coyle. The noticeable difference between Barrett's side and Coyle's side was attitude and effort despite few changes to the starting XI. Given the recent international break, Barrett now has had time to implement a style of his own. Rejoining the club from his time with the Jamaican National team throughout Copa America is Dynamo Captain Giles Barnes. Erick Torres is still with the U-23 Mexican National Team and won't be available against D.C. United. The team is relatively healthy with only Rob Lovejoy out and Alex Lima also returns after serving his red card suspension that he received for an altercation with Vancouver Whitecaps playmaker Pedro Morales.
My Projected Lineup
I don't believe Barrett adjusts too much especially against a struggling DC club. The difficulty selecting a projected lineup this week is the club played an Open Cup match this past Wednesday which could mean tired legs. Defenders are typically in better shape to play multiple games a week and Barrett used 2 of his 3 subs on defenders in the Open Cup match so I think they'll largely be fresh for DC. Although Alex Lima is returning, I think Warner gets the start given how well he has played and that Alex went the full 90 against San Antonio.
My Preferred Lineup
In my preferred lineup I go back to the 4-4-2 because I love the formation and it's balanced in its offense and defense - something this squad has desperately needed all season. Bruin and Barnes partner up top because they typically combine well against DC sides. My backline rests Sheanon Williams and inserts Raul Rodriguez at RB and has Horst and Agus in central defense. I could easily see Alex starting over Cristian Maidana, but would think Alex rests after his Open Cup match.
There are a lot of options with Barnes returning and players healthy. Let us know who you want to see in the Dynamo starting XI below and share your formation and selections in the comment section.