Following a bit of a congested schedule at the end of June and going into early July the Houston Dynamo got a small break while the CONCACAF Gold Cup played its group stage. With the knockout round underway, MLS play has resumed and the Dynamo have another double game week. Their first stop will be in Minneapolis where they’ll face a hungry Minnesota United FC team looking to get back up the Western Conference table as they currently sit in last place.
The last time these teams met was at BBVA Compass Stadium where the two teams battled it out to a 2-2 draw. The Dynamo played the first half as they normally would at home with Mauro Manotas getting on the board relatively early in the game and then Alberth Elis putting the home team up two goals just before halftime. However, for whatever reason, they decided to sit back early into the second half which allowed MNUFC to get back into the game. Although the Dynamo looked for a game winner late in the half, they were unable to get passed a suddenly very strong MNUFC defensive line.
With the Gold Cup still in action the Dynamo will be without some key players. In fact, three of the four forwards most often used will be with their respective national teams. Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto will be with the Honduran National Team and Cubo Torres will be with the Mexican National Team. That should indicate that Mauro Manotas will lead the forward line from the center and will open up the wing positions to Andrew Wenger and possibly Vicente Sanchez. Wenger is a lock to start, but should Wilmer Cabrera opt for someone other than Sanchez, it could be Alex Lima who often pushes into the offense from midfield.
Versatile midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia is also with the Honduran National Team which could open up an opportunity for Memo Rodriguez or Joseph Holland should Cabrera play Alex as a forward. Alex would start in the midfield otherwise alongside Juan David Cabezas and Ricardo Clark.
The defense should resemble the usual back four we’ve come to expect from Cabrera: DaMarcus Beasley (LB), Leonardo (CB), Adolfo Machado (CB), and A. J. DeLaGarza (RB) with Tyler Deric in goal.
The Dynamo were able to officially announce the transfer of playmaker Tomás Martínez, but Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle reported that he would not be making the trip to Minneapolis or to their next stop D. C. United.
My Projected Starting Lineup
So who do you want to see lineup against Minnesota United FC? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!