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Who should start for the Houston Dynamo against the Seattle Sounders?

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against the Sounders?

MLS: Western Conference Championship-Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo have quietly put together a 3 game unbeaten run where they’ve collected 7 points from those matches - technically a 4 game unbeaten run if you include the US Open Cup Final victory. They’ll have a chance to extend that run against the Seattle Sounders as the club travels to the Pacific Northwest for an unusual Monday night game. The major talking point for this game is that both sides will likely be missing key players to international duty. For the Dynamo however this is less of an issue with playoff contention nearly out of reach altogether. We also saw Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera start a lineup last week against the San Jose Earthquakes with regular starters like Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis on the bench so Cabrera should have no problem going down the bench to get players minutes with not much on the line.

The players that the Dynamo will be without due to international duty include Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis (Honduras), Adolfo Machado (Panama), Arturo Álvarez (El Salvador), and Ronaldo Peña (Venezuela). Losing Peña feels like the worst of these players to lose because he would have gotten a lot of minutes with so many attacking players missing. Instead Cabrera will need to lean on Mauro Manotas to lead the forwards. Manotas has been on a scoring streak scoring 4 goals in the last 4 league games and he was the US Open Cup leading goal scorer. Manotas will have the opportunity to put the team on his shoulders rather than be a part of a strong offensive trio. Alongside him I’d anticipate Memo Rodríguez to start on the left wing and Andrew Wenger on the right side. With Elis, Quioto, Peña, and even Álvarez gone, the attacking options are limited so I think Cabrera pushes Wenger back up to his old spot with A.J. DeLaGarza healthy at right back.

The midfield is a little straighter forward to predict. Tomás Martínez, who had a big game against the Earthquakes, should start in the central attacking midfield position. Juan David Cabezas is also healthy and should start in the deepest midfield role with Oscar Boniek García between the two. Eric Bird could also be slotted into this position, but seeing as he didn’t get the start against the ‘Quakes, I think he’ll get minutes off the bench.

Along the back line I’d peg DaMarcus Beasley to start at left back. Central defense has some injuries including Philippe Senderos, Jared Watts, and Leonardo so I think Kevin Garcia and Alejandro Fuenmayor will partner together. At right back A.J. DeLaGarza should start with Wenger on the right wing.

Injury Report

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)

QUESTIONABLE: D – Leonardo (right adductor 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 the Seattle Sounders? Let us know below.