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Texas Derby Edition: Pick the Houston Dynamo Starting XI against FC Dallas

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Who do you want to start against FC Dallas to help Houston keep El Capitán

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo
Round 3....
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are back at it again, this time they’re playing for a cannon. That’s right! It’s the final match of the Texas Derby which will determine who gains possession of El Capitán, the Houston Dynamo (the rightful and current owners of El Capitán) or FC Dallas. The series is currently even with a 0-0 draw in Frisco, TX and a 1-1 draw in Houston.

Last week the Dynamo struggled on the road in a 1-2 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Wilmer Cabrera opted to keep some players in Houston to rest them due to the FC Dallas game being played on Wednesday and a game against Sporting Kansas City coming up this Saturday. Oscar Boniek Garcia filled in for Ricardo Clark, who was one of the players in resting in Houston, and did not have the strongest of outings as he committed a foul that resulted in a successfully taken penalty by Vancouver and he turned the ball over that led to the Whitecaps’ 2nd goal. Romell Quioto was able to get one back for Houston to keep the game within reach, but it wasn’t enough.

Another blow for Houston coming into this game is that they will unfortunately be without Juan David Cabezas and A. J. DeLaGarza in Dallas who both will be suspended due to yellow card accumulation. This will make some lineup decisions difficult for Wilmer Cabrera, but luckily he did rest Ricardo Clark, Cubo Torres, and Vicente Sanchez so he will have some fresh legs.

Up top for Houston I anticipate our usual front of Romell Quioto, Cubo Torres, and Alberth Elis who served his suspension for yellow card accumulation last week. One could make an argument for Mauro Manotas over Quioto (or possibly even Vicente Sanchez since he was rested), but I think Quioto gets the start.

The midfield is probably the most difficult area to predict because lots of pieces can be moved around to fill the void left by Juan David Cabezas. With Ricardo Clark rested he will start so the question is, where? Should Eric Alexander be 100% ready, I think he starts for Cabezas. Alexander was on the bench last week so we know he’s game ready, but is he 90 minutes ready? I’m not so sure. I do think he starts there though and could be an early substitute. That puts Ricardo Clark back in his usual position of right midfield/right center midfield with Alex Lima at LM/LCM.

Of course, an alternative to Alexander at CDM would be to put Clark there and have Boniek, Memo Rodriguez, or Alex start at RM/RCM with Tomas Martinez at LM/LCM. I think this is less likely than what I suggested above, but it certainly is a possibility.

Along the back line I think we’ll have our usual group of DaMarcus Beasley, Leonardo and Adolfo Machado with Dylan Remick in line to replace Beasley should DMB need rest (I think it’s more likely he’ll rest against SKC though). That leaves the vacancy left by A. J. DeLaGarza and RB is arguably our thinnest position in terms of depth. Kevin Garcia has been Cabrera’s go-to replacement for AJ, but another option could be Jalil Anibaba. Garcia is still on the raw side and hasn’t completely impressed in his outings. While Anibaba still struggles from time-to-time, I think Cabrera goes for the veteran in Anibaba.

Houston Dynamo - Football tactics and formations

My Projected Starting Lineup

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