It’s hard to continue harping on this team’s deficiencies when they are still holding on to 2nd place. The Dynamo have made huge strides since 2016. When it comes to a fanbase and the expectations, it’s two sides of the same coin. Unless a team does absolutely everything perfect there will always be a perceived let down. It’s time for the Dynamo to quiet all detractors. It’s time for a tally in the win column away.
Saturday’s game will be the first of the second half of the year, and like a southern gentleman seeking refuge from the heat at his favorite watering hole, MLS is non-chalantly sauntering into the doldrums of summer. International play has started stealing the headlines.
The last place Rapids had some trouble getting it started this season, and despite going 4-1 in their last 5 home matches they are still struggling to climb back out of the basement. Their home record is actually respectable when compared to their point total, and not surprisingly considering they have yet to earn a single road point. That’s right. The only team worse than the Dynamo. And yet the latest streak of wins come amidst injuries to some of the starters and key backups. This latest week in particular has seen a big number of Rapids get hit by injury. Bobby Burling (CB) remains out and Axel Sjoberg (CB) got hurt while filling in. Midfielders Mohammed Saeid, Shkelzen Gashi and Dillon Powers are all questionable as well, and Micheal Azira will be staying off the pitch due to yellow card accumulation.
Following the season trend, Houston will trot out a lineup in a road match that is vastly different from the undefeated lineup that consistently plays together at home. This time though there are again those extenuating circumstances, which now feel like they consistently revolve around the international action going on this summer. The Hondurans have been called up. Their bid for the Gold Cup begins next week on July 7th, and Elis and Quioto have already joined the Honduran side. Boniek though is conspicuously present at Dynamo practices, and Corey Roepken has a feeling he will be playing for Houston weekend.
In real news: Boniek Garcia is training with Dynamo tonight. Figure he would have joined Honduras today if he was not playing vs Colorado.— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) June 29, 2017
Which is probably consistent with the minor lineup change in this week’s USOC loss to KC. Alex started and played 60+ minutes. Cabrera mentioned recently that the reason Alex was not seeing his usual minutes was that Cabrera thought he wasn’t playing up to his normal level. This is certainly ambiguous considering that it must have come in the two games since his strong performance in the 5-1 win over Real Salt Lake. Those two games were on the road though. Does Cabrera recognize a potentially fatal problem with Alex’s performance on the road, or is he just simply trying to send a message to his star in the midfield? The latter is the likely answer. The team has needed some leadership outside of BBVA. Alex is an obvious solution to that problem. Perhaps Boniek will get his start again this week and will his team to a win, but even with another appearance off the bench Alex can be the energy the team needs. With Elis and Quioto out this week there will be a strong need for cohesiveness. As noted last week and confirmed during the game in LA, this team is getting better both on the road and with variation to the eleven players who share the field together. Hopefully two of the Dynamo’s leading scorers in Cubo and Manotas can keep it up.