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4-4-2 or 4-3-3? Pick the Houston Dynamo Lineup against Orlando City SC

Who’s in your starting XI? 

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo failed last week in their attempt to pick up points on the road for the first time this season in their 0-2 defeat to Toronto FC. This week they head back to BBVA Compass Stadium where they’ve been undefeated to take on Orlando City SC.

In last week’s loss to the Reds, we saw Head coach Wilmer Cabrera utilize his new 4-4-2 which could have helped control the midfield a little bit better. However, for some reason on the road this Dynamo team likes to sit back and against a team playing in a 3-5-2 that can create some quality chances on goal. The team finally figured out how to get their own opportunities to bring the game back to life as we saw the Dynamo revert back into their attacking minded formation which worked well, but unfortunately there weren’t any goals to be had.

This creates the fundamental question going into Saturday’s game: 4-4-2 or 4-3-3? Many have commented that they’d like to see the game begin in a 4-3-3 and then change into a 4-4-2 as a way to manage the match more effectively. But will Cabrera turn on his new tactics so quickly? I think he will and it has less to do with the loss at Toronto and more with the health of Romell Quioto who is now 100% healthy. Quioto showed in the TFC game how much he can influence the offense. He is simply too good to be left on the bench and with Cubo Torres and Alberth Elis scoring goals there is no need to bench them either. That does not mean the end of the 4-4-2 though. One of our biggest problems with the 4-3-3 is that it relies on the forwards staying higher up the field ready to counter and it also requires the other team to possess the ball mostly in our half so we can have a numbers advantage on the counter. That usually gives opponents a numbers advantage in our half which is not good for holding onto leads, but it is good for scoring goals. Changing to a 4-4-2 after we’ve gotten a lead would put someone else in the midfield to help defend and if we concede a goal it can easily be adjusted to a 4-3-3 with the CAM pushing up.

Whichever formation the Dynamo opt to go with will give minutes to some and take some from others. The good news for Houston is that they have plenty of options to choose from as the injury scare following the international break seems to be just about over. Ricardo Clark and Romell Quioto are both back to 100% which leaves only defenders Agus (Questionable) and George Malki (Out) on the injury report. Clark is listed on the injury report as probable, but Cabrera did comment and say that Clark was ready to go.

My Projected Starting Lineup

In my projected lineup we see the Dynamo returning to one of their original starting XI’s with Clark, assuming Cabrera wasn’t blowing smoke and is 100% gets the start once again in midfield. If Cabrera wants Clark to be available, but on the bench, then I would expect Oscar Boniek Garcia to get the starting nod in right midfield. I also think Cabrera really likes what Eric Alexander brings and he gets the start over Juan David Cabezas in central defensive midfield. Lastly, I think Joe Willis gets the start over Tyler Deric in goal simply because that’s what Cabrera has been doing.

So who do you want to see lineup against Orlando City SC? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!