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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. the San Jose Earthquakes

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against the San Jose Earthquakes?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo had the week off with their opponent, the New York Red Bulls, playing in CONCACAF Champions League. The San Jose Earthquakes played a tough 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union this past Saturday. The Dynamo last played March 31st in a 0-2 loss to the New England Revolution which saw DaMarcus Beasley earn a red card. While the two goals the Dynamo allowed showed some of the cracks in the Wilmer Cabrera system, the real disappointment in the game came from tons of missed opportunities by the Dynamo.

With an extra week to regroup, the Dynamo definitely needed the break with the team being hit particularly hard by injuries mostly along the back line. A. J. DeLaGarza has missed time since the end of the regular season last year with an ACL injury and his absence is definitely being felt. Teams have targeted our right defenders and have found plenty of success doing so. George Malki is another player who can fill in at right back, but he’s missed time since the preseason and will not be available. Dylan Remick at left back is also not expected to be available which makes options at full back fairly thin.

Against New England we saw Andrew Wenger come into the left back spot after Beasley was sent off and I think he’s a good bet to start there with few alternatives. Wenger filled in well in the role and is able to get up the field in the same ways that Beasley and Remick do. At right back the two most obvious choices are Kevin Garcia and Adolfo Machado. Garcia has not looked good in the spot so I think that Machado shifts over from his usual CB position. At center back Leonardo should be a lock to start, but his partner is not as obvious. Against New England, Alejandro Fuenmayor got his first start, but it was not a perfect debut as he struggled with his positioning and decision making. I think instead Cabrera goes for newcomer Jared Watts who has had time to work with the team since arriving.

In the midfield, the Dynamo will still be without Juan David Cabezas, but Darwin Cerén has been mostly an ideal replacement (with the exception of an extremely poor decision to dribble through the Revolution with no defensive players behind him). Next to Cerén should be Eric Alexander and Tomás Martínez.

Andrew Wenger has been the starter at left wing so far this season, and he’s done a good job of it for the most part. With him likely starting at left back, Romell Quioto can regain his position without necessarily unseating Wenger. Up top in the center forward role should be Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis should start at right wing. Our forwards created a lot of quality chances against the Revs and they found no way through so they will need to be putting their shots on target in this one.

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 the San Jose Earthquakes!