The Houston Dynamo are currently one of four teams without a road win (amazingly the Portland Timbers haven't won on the road and are in a playoff position). The Dynamo will go back to the Bay Area to take on their former manager Dominic Kinnear and his San Jose Earthquakes this Friday. While the Dynamo certainly haven't played well this season, they've remained competitive - and by that I mean they've drawn a lot of games and only lost by margins greater than 1 goal twice. Those two games stand out as the worst games of the year: once was at home to the LA Galaxy and the other was on the road at San Jose. The Dynamo have a chance at redemption now in San Jose, though every game feels like a redemption game at the bottom of a conference.
One thing benefiting the Dynamo is health as several players have worked their way back and can contribute in one way or another. Players like goalkeeper Tyler Deric, CM Ricardo Clark, and multi-disciplined defender Raul Rodriguez should be ready to go this Friday as starters or as potential substitutes if necessary. DaMarcus Beasley did not travel with the club which should make for some difficult lineup decisions for Wade Barrett given Abdoulie Mansally's sending off in the club's 1-1 draw with Toronto FC. Likely that means pushing Jalil Anibaba or Sheanon Williams to left back with David Horst and Agus returning to the picture in central defense alongside Raul Rodriguez. In the offense it is possible that Erick Torres could return following his stint with the Mexican U-23 Olympic side, but it's unknown if he would travel with the side if he were able to get back in time. This leaves opportunities for Mauro Manotas, who excelled in his start against Toronto FC despite not netting a goal, along with Will Bruin.
My Starting Lineup
In my starting XI I continue my obsession with the 4-4-2 because I feel like the side won't give up a balanced approach with its offense. Too often we see our side go up a goal and then slump into its defense shell and we too often get punished for it. With an additional striker we can continue to mount pressure on opponents while increasing possession higher up the field which is benefited by Alex Lima and Ricardo Clark in central midfield as they're able to dispossess and tackle ably. Up top is Will Bruin whose strength will battle well against the tough Earthquake center backs which will complement the speed and tenacity of the young Mauro Manotas. Of course we'll probably see another version of a 4-1-4-1 which can work when properly implemented, but we just haven't seen the offensive capabilities of that formation utilized yet.
There are plenty of options to choose from so who do you want to see start against Dom Kinnear and the ‘Quakes? Let us know below and share your starting side in the comments below!