The Houston Dynamo return to league play after a bit of a break for most of the squad. Their last game was June 4th at the Seattle Sounders where Will Bruin’s header against his former team was the lone goal scored at CenturyLink Field. With several players seeing time with their national teams the “break” this past week turned into a grind for some with a couple of important World Cup Qualifiers being played. Additionally, the Dynamo had to travel to Cary, North Carolina to face North Carolina FC in the US Open Cup. While very few regular Dynamo players saw time, the midweek matchup can be looked at positively as the squad was able to win its first road win of the year – even though it was in a different competition.
Saturday, the Dynamo will make their way to Carson, California to play the struggling LA Galaxy. Things in the post Bruce Arena era aren’t going quite as smoothly as the Galaxy faithful hoped as they currently sit in 8th place in the Western Conference with 18 points. The Dynamo occupy the 3rd spot in the West with 23 points and are hoping for another win on the road now that they finally have 1 away win under their belt.
With many players rested in the midweek game, Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera is able to play a stronger lineup. The national team members should also be available, but Cabrera may opt to leave some on the bench or rest them entirely before our rivalry rematch with FC Dallas next Friday. The good news out of all these international games is that many of our players did well and can carry their form back to the club. Romell Quioto was healthy enough to play and he scored a goal as did his striking partner Alberth Elis.
Rest is a tricky thing with managers as they often want to put out their strongest XI, but if a player isn’t 100%, the chance for injury can go up. I believe we’ll see as close to our usual group as possible with a few places for change. In the back, I think DaMarcus Beasley will get the go at LB. Cabrera has not been shy about playing the veteran during a heavy schedule before and with Dylan Remick having just played the full 120 minutes (thanks to extra time in a knockout competition) in North Carolina, I think DMB starts. Leonardo and A. J. DeLaGarza should also start against their former club and Adolfo Machado should also be back in central defense. If Machado is not ready, I would anticipate Jalil Anibaba to go even though he played 120 minutes Wednesday.
Midfield is pretty easy with no players facing injuries or extended time with the national team so I would predict to see Alex Lima, Juan David Cabezas, and Ricardo Clark all get starts Saturday evening.
Up top is probably the hardest area to predict. All 3 of our starting forwards were with their national teams, although Cubo did not see any action so he should start as the center forward. Quioto and Elis are interesting options and I would think that at least one of them starts with both Andrew Wenger and Vicente Sanchez playing heavy minutes Wednesday. If I had to guess, I would think Alberth Elis gets the start at RW and Mauro Manotas gets a go at LW. The opposite could be true as could both Quioto and Elis starting – my preferred option. I just don’t think Manotas would be left out is all.
My Projected Starting Lineup
So who do you want to see lineup against the LA Galaxy? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!