The Houston Dynamo are winless in their last four matches and head into one of their most difficult fixtures of the year when they travel north to take on New York City FC. The Dynamo will have their work cut out for them as they’ve struggled mightily on the road this season recording just a single win in 15 road games while New York City has lost at home just twice.
The Dynamo offense, once their defining characteristic, has gone cold evidenced by last week’s 0-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. Despite managing 15 shots total the majority of the attempts were off the mark or easily saved by Quakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. Although the game tactics were an improvement from the clubs loss the week before, Wilmer Cabrera has yet to get the team to perform consistently on the road. With the team currently below the playoff line, each game and result becomes all the more important.
Against the Earthquakes Wilmer Cabrera did not have team assist leader Alex Lima at his disposal due to yellow card accumulation and in his place used designated player Tomás Martínez who showed plenty of vision, but not quite chemistry with a strong forward line. While the forward group we saw struggled to put their chances away, I think that Cabrera shows his confidence in the group elects to start Romell Quioto, Cubo Torres, and Alberth Elis. Elis, who apparently played through a broken nose, is not expected to miss any time due to the injury. While I would prefer Mauro Manotas in the center forward role, it’s clear that Cabrera likes Cubo in that position when he’s available.
Sooooooo...Turns out Alberth Elis played with a broken nose on Saturday. What a trooper.https://t.co/Vki6Bdgc0m— Corey Roepken (@RipSports) September 19, 2017
The midfield is a bit harder to discern in Cabrera’s 4-3-3 with Alex coming back in. Martínez showed flashes of brilliance and what he can bring, but was not on the same page with the other forwards for stretches of the match so I believe Alex will be given the start again after serving his suspension. Juan David Cabezas is a lock in central midfield as well, but the RM/CRM spot isn’t as easy to predict. Last week Cabrera opted for Oscar Boniek Garcia over usual starter Ricardo Clark. My instinct tells me Clark gets the go, but it could go either way or it could even be given to Martínez should Cabrera want to boost the slumping offense
at the expense of the defense.
Along the back line I would think we see our usual group of DaMarcus Beasley at LB, Leonardo and Adolfo Machado at CB, and A. J. DeLaGarza at RB with Tyler Deric in goal.
The Dynamo do not have many more games on the road which should help their playoff chances, but there isn’t much time for the team to improve their form on the road. A win at New York would do wonders to the team’s slumping confidence so hopefully we’ll see the Dynamo play at the level we all know they’re capable of playing at.
My Projected Starting Lineup
So who do you want to see lineup against New York City FC? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!