Newly appointed Interim Head Coach Wade Barrett hopes to earn his first MLS win as a coach today against D.C. United in front of a home Houston crowd. Barrett had led the Dynamo to two road wins in difficult places to play in Vancouver and Dallas and won his first game as a coach in the Lamar Hunt US Open competition this past Wednesday over San Antonio FC. He'll hope to continue his unbeaten run against a struggling D.C. United side that has had their fair share of road woes.
In our preview of the match we discussed the impact of players returning to BBVA Compass Stadium including the visiting Bobby Boswell and Tally Hall, but we wanted to know more about the squad we'll be playing against so we spoke with Ben Bromley of Black and Red United to gain insight about his club.
Dynamo Theory: Last season, D.C. United finished 4th place in the Eastern Conference and were able to advance to the Conference Semifinals before being eliminated by the New York Red Bulls. Currently the Black and Red sit in the final playoff spot in the East. What were the initial expectations coming into this season, and are those expectations being met?
Black & Red United: The initial expectations for DC United in this DC United season and for most seasons for DC United were to challenge for the top of the Eastern Conference. So far this season and for a number of reasons those expectations have not been met. United has had to change their entire Central Midfield started the season without building need and their offensive production has been fairly poor this year.
Thankfully the East is so bad this year that d c United still has as good a shot as anyone to make the top three in the east.
DT: DC have only won a single game away from RFK Stadium this season. What's the culprit behind DC's road woes?
B&RU: Inconsistent defense and bad offense. Like I said before DC night and has been unable to put together a complete offensive performance really at any time this year at least over the course of a full game. Combine that with the fact that Bobby Boswell has been up and down this year and that Central Midfield is still trying to figure itself out and you get a recipe for playing badly on the road.
DT: This past Wednesday DC had a midweek match as the club participated in the US Open Cup. What kind of adjustments will Ben Olsen make coming into Houston?
B&RU: Ben Olsen is dealing with a slew of injuries and absences due to the Copa America. Therefore he tried to keep anyone who could have possibly started in the game against the Houston Dynamo's out of the US Open Cup. Unfortunately Miguel Aguilar got injured in the US Open cup so Ben Olsen will be down to 18 or 19 players to face the Houston Dynamo.
However he still going to try and do what he's been trying to do all season and run out a fairly similar line up. Until the transfer window opens and he can make a couple of moves that's about all he has.
Projected Lineup: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp; Lamar Neagle, Jared Jeffrey, Marcelo Sarvas, Nick DeLeon; Fabian Espindola, Luciano Acosta
Predicted Outcome: I'm hoping for a 1-1 draw with Bill Hamid doing Bill Hamid things.
For my answers to Ben's questions, check them out at Black and Red United!