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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against D.C. United?

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo were defeated 1-2 by the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps last week. There were a number of problems including the Dynamo not putting away their chances and a few costly defensive errors, but plenty of credit goes to Vancouver for sitting back and really making it difficult for Houston to grab an equalizer. This week, the Dynamo will hope to get back on track after last week’s setback as they travel to the East Coast to take on D.C. United. The Black and Reds are waiting on the completion of their new home, Audi Field, so in the meantime their “home” games will take place at the Maryland SoccerPlex in nearby Boyds, MD.

Last season the Dynamo were horrendous on the road during the regular season as they notched an away record of 1-9-7. That single win away from BBVA was at D.C. United’s old home, RFK Stadium though. Still, the Dynamo won’t want to rest on that as D.C. United will be hungry to put last year behind them and get their first win of the season in their first “home” game of the year.

The Dynamo have been pretty consistent with their lineups two games in and it will be interesting to see what changes Wilmer Cabrera makes for the club’s first road match of 2018. Up top we’ve seen a starting trio of Andrew Wenger on the left, Mauro Manotas in the center, and Alberth Elis on the right wing. It will be interesting to see if Cabrera decides to pull Wenger for the likely eventual starter Romell Quioto. I think Wenger has been one of the better players early in the year so I don’t think Quioto starts just yet. Wenger also provides plenty of cover defensively which will help on the road. Manotas and Elis should start again and Manotas will be ready after an underwhelming performance against Vancouver.

In midfield I’d expect Darwin Cerén to once again fill in for Juan David Cabezas. Cerén has stepped in very well and his tackling and distribution out of the midfield have helped the Dynamo on both sides of the ball. Tomás Martínez is a piece the Dynamo organization think can be the link between the midfield and our speedy forwards. He should start as he needs to continue to develop chemistry with those around him. Next up is Eric Alexander who should be in the XI.

Defensively is where it gets a little more difficult. Left back should be easy with DaMarcus Beasley. Beasley’s successor Dylan Remick was in concussion protocol during training earlier this week and should be out for this one.

Center back Philippe Senderos injured his right hamstring against Vancouver and should also be considered out. The Dynamo can line up with Adolfo Machado, who will be traveling with the Panama National Team next week, and Leonardo in the center if they want to start with Kevin Garcia at right back. Or the club can pair Leonardo with newcomer Alejandro Fuenmayor at center back and push Machado to right back. Wilmer Cabrera said that he may change his back line week-to-week which will make things difficult to predict, but I think we see Beasley, Leonardo, Machado, and Garcia in the back. To further complicate things, Cabrera said he might even change goalkeepers week-to-week, but until he does I think Chris Seitz is the starter for the time being.

My Projected Starting Lineup

There are a ton of options, not to mention formations to play with so let us know who you think should be in the starting lineup against D.C. United!