Last week was very good for the Houston Dynamo as they were able to pick up 3 points in a huge 4-0 win over Orlando City SC, a top team in the Eastern Conference. They continued their dominance and unbeaten run at home and will hope to continue that run of form against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps, who currently sit in 6th place in the West, are not to be taken lightly as they have won their last 2 outings on the road and could prove to be a test for Houston as they hope to move up the table.
In last week’s win against the Lions the Dynamo were absolutely in control of the match. Despite a missed penalty, Houston were able to score 4 goals thanks to a brace from Mauro Manotas and goals from Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis. The switch back to the 4-3-3 saw huge success as the team never let off the pedal to attempt to score more goals. As Orlando grew more desperate to increase their chances, the Dynamo only gained momentum. Huge credit belongs to the defense which kept the first clean sheet of the year in the 4-3-3, but the offense looked unbeatable against Orlando, especially in the 2nd half.
I would expect very few changes by Wilmer Cabrera given the success last week. That would mean another go with the 4-3-3 over the 4-4-2. Cabrera even hinted during the postgame presser last week that the original reason for the formation change to the 4-4-2 was the injury to Romell Quito and with him back to 100% I think we see Cabrera’s favored formation. There are a few injuries that could impact the choices Cabrera makes. Notably Eric Alexander sprained his MCL and is expected to miss weeks will be out. Ricardo Clark subbed on for Alexander, who was injured early into the game last week, played exceptionally well and would be my choice to replace Alexander with Juan David Cabezas getting the start in central defensive midfield. Erick “Cubo” Torres was a late scratch last week as he suffered from a concussion during practice. He’s currently listed as probable and could feature in some capacity. It’s unknown whether or not Cabrera makes that move so early given how well Mauro Manotas played in Cubo’s absence, but Cabrera has a soft spot for Cubo and could give him minutes either in a starting role or off the bench regardless.
In my projected lineup we make very few changes (1) to the starting lineup of last week. Clark gets the start over the injured Alexander and the rest remains because….why change what worked extremely well last week. Should Cabrera opt not to go with Clark, I would bet that Oscar Boniek Garcia sees time in right midfield/right central midfield.
I think Cubo will see minutes, but it would be incredibly unfortunate to bench Mauro Manotas after he registered 2 goals and an assist last week. That would kill the confidence of a player looking for more playing time.
So who do you want to see lineup against the Vancouver Whitecaps? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!