Following the Houston Dynamo’s loss on the road earlier this week to the Seattle Sounders, the Dynamo will miss out on a postseason visit for the 5th time in franchise history. They’ll look to finish the season on a high note the few remaining games of the season and that starts with tomorrow’s clash with expansion side LAFC. The Los Angeles Football Club have qualified for the playoffs this year and will be looking to jostle for higher seeding as the regular season winds down.
For Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera, he’ll be short several players due to international duty call-ups. Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis will be with the Honduran National side, Adolfo Machado will be with Panama, Ronaldo Peña was called up for the Venezuelan National Team, and Arturo Álvarez received a call up for El Salvador. That leaves Cabrera very thin at the forward position. Up top I would expect Mauro Manotas to start as the center forward. Manotas has been on a tear lately and Cabrera will want to continue to see the young Colombian develop. Next to him is more difficult to predict. Typically we’d see Quioto and Elis on the wings, but with them gone it becomes open game. I’d expect Memo Rodríguez to earn a start with so few options available along with the forward converted to right back Andrew Wenger to move back into his old position.
In the midfield Tomás Martínez should get the start as the central playmaker, but if he is on the bench after playing earlier this week look for Luis Gil to get minutes. Behind him we could see Oscar Boniek García, but I think Cabrera knows what he gets from Boniek, so I’ll go with Eric Bird getting a starting call. With not much left to play for, seeing extended minutes for Bird will let Cabrera evaluate him ahead of the 2019 season. In the final spot, I’d peg 2017 team MVP Juan David Cabezas to start.
At the left back spot, since the Dynamo had a game this past Monday, I think DaMarcus Beasley gets a rest and Adam Lundqvist takes his place. Alejandro Fuenmayor was a curious omission from the game day 18 man lineup. It’s possible he was being rested so I’ll count him as starting in central defense next to Kevin Garcia. At right back, with Andrew Wenger pushed higher up the field that opens things up to A.J. DeLaGarza. AJ was also an omission from the 18 Monday, but that could have been due to the surface of the field and DeLaGarza coming off a serious knee injury. In goal, I think Joe Willis stays between the sticks as the number 1 option.
OUT: D – Dylan Remick (concussion)*
OUT: F – Mac Steeves (hip surgery)
OUT: D – Philippe Senderos (hamstring injury)
OUT: M – Eric Alexander (left hamstring injury)
OUT: D/M – Jared Watts (right hip injury)
*Remick does not appear on the Injury Report, but is out for the season.
My Projected Starting Lineup
It’s time to get creative with your lineup choices with so many players unavailable either due to injury or to international duty. Who do you think should start against LAFC? Let us know below.