The Houston Dynamo are hoping to ride last week’s 2-0 victory over the San Diego Earthquakes to carry them to their first points on the road as they make their way north of the border to Toronto, Canada. Last week Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera changed his usual 4-3-3 formation into a diamond 4-4-2 which helped lead the club to its first clean sheet of the season. In his 4-3-3 the team was able to put the pedal to the metal as far as offense goes. Forwards typically don’t get back in that system quickly enough as they’re needed higher up the field in order to spring counter attacks. This turned out to be not the best plan for 90 minutes as it put a heavy burden on the defense having to prevent teams from getting back into games with numbers against them. This is why Cabrera’s 4-4-2 that we saw last week worked so well. It provided creativity and support for the offense while keeping 4 people in the midfield in order to slow and prevent the opponents from over running our defense.
The real question I have is will Cabrera continue to utilize it. I mentioned this in the preview, but Romell Quioto is too good to have on the bench in my view and Cubo Torres and Alberth Elis are currently contributing enough to keep them on the field. I think the direction that Cabrera can go in likely depends on the health of Quioto. The Houston Chronicle’s Corey Roepken reported Quioto was about 80%. Will he get to 100% by kickoff? It’s hard to say, but it’s also possible Cabrera keeps him on the bench until he’s had training at 100%. If Quioto is not ready to start, then I would predict a similar lineup to the one we saw against the ‘Quakes. If he is ready and does start I think we go back to a 4-3-3, but perhaps with a more defensive oriented midfield (Eric Alexander – Juan David Cabezas – Ricardo Clark*). I would think we play it a little more cautious and use the 4-4-2 given the success we saw last week, the quality of offense we’ll see, and that the match is on the road.
*Clark is currently Questionable due to a left adductor strain
The defense last week saw reinforcements come through Leonardo’s return from a hamstring injury and he was, in my opinion, one of the best players on the field. The Dynamo could see another friendly face return with A. J. DeLaGarza recently being removed from the injury report. Center back Agus was also only listed as questionable. While there is still some debate about who our main goalkeeper is, and I think it should be Tyler Deric, Cabrera has started Joe Willis the last two matches and seems keen on giving Willis more chances to earn the number 1 job full-time. After last week’s clean sheet I think he gets another start, but who knows. I didn’t think there was a goalkeeper controversy until Cabrera started one.
My Projected Starting Lineup
So who do you want to see lineup against Toronto FC? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!