The Houston Dynamo are back at home following after an eventful few weeks as they look to best the Colorado Rapids. The Dynamo’s last game came August 23rd against FC Dallas with the team planning on playing Sporting Kansas City that weekend. That game would be rescheduled for October 11th due to Hurricane Harvey with an international break for World Cup Qualifying following that weekend. With the impacts of Harvey still being felt around this part of the country, I think a little soccer is in order to give ourselves a break from the larger issues still pressing our city.
Against FC Dallas we saw a lineup pretty close to what we’ve come to expect from Wilmer Cabrera with a few exceptions. Juan David Cabezas and A. J. DeLaGarza both served their yellow card accumulation suspensions that they had picked up against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Vicente Sanchez also got the start over Romell Quioto likely because of the short turnaround from the game in Vancouver. Sanchez was one of three players that didn’t make the trip to Canada in order to rest for the FC Dallas game and the (now rescheduled) SKC match. Along with Sanchez, Ricardo Clark and Cubo Torres did not travel – and there is an interesting story behind Cubo’s exclusion that’s in the latest episode of the Peel so give that a listen.
The game itself was a bit of a roller coaster with Vicente Sanchez striking early to give the team the lead before that lead would evaporate to a 3-1 score line early in the 2nd half. With a few key adjustments including bringing on Quioto and Tomas Martinez, the Dynamo were able to equalize and looked like they might be able to steal a win. They ran out of time and would have to settle for the draw, but it was an exceptional push late in the game led by Cubo Torres.
This week they’ll face the team in the cellar of the Western Conference, the Colorado Rapids as the Dynamo hope to remain in the hunt for a top playoff spot making this game an important one. All of our players that were with their international teams are back with the team and available for selection, but it’s unclear how Cabrera will adjust their minutes in order to give them some rest. Cabrera has not been shy about resting players as we saw in Vancouver so I would expect some players to rest or come off the bench in this one.
Along the back line I think Dylan Remick starts over DaMarcus Beasley at left back with Leonardo and Adolfo Machado at CB and A. J. DeLaGarza at right back. Beasley recently played for the US Men’s National Team against Honduras so I think with travel and a short turnaround it makes sense to rest Beasley.
In midfield, I’m going to make a somewhat bold prediction as I believe Tomas Martinez will get the start at LM over Alex Lima. Juan David Cabezas will be back as the CM/CDM after serving his suspension and I think Ricardo Clark plays in his usual RM/CRM role. I think Martinez starts over Alex because he played well in that spot when he was subbed on for Alex against FCD. Clark/Cabezas also provides plenty of cover defensively for our newest designated player which helps with his learning curve. Should Martinez not get the start just yet – and there’s a case to be made that he’s ready, then it will be Alex.
Up top is the hardest area to judge because Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis are so important to this team and they are both coming off an international game. I think Cabrera does the smart thing and keeps them available and on the bench, but doesn’t start them against the Rapids. I think Cubo Torres starts as the CF with Mauro Manotas and Andrew Wenger. Cubo and Manotas are no-brainer starts so it’s really up to Cabrera to judge who he wants next to them. Memo Rodriguez is a good option as is Vicente Sanchez as we saw against Dallas. He could also start Elis or Quioto (Elis being more likely), but I just don’t think that will happen.
The Dynamo only have two players on the injury sheet in DF George Malki and MID Charlie Ward with no players suspended so there are plenty of options available for Cabrera to choose from.
My Projected Starting Lineup
So who do you want to see lineup against the Colorado Rapids? Let us know and feel free to share your choices in the comments section below!