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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. the Chicago Fire

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against the Fire?

MLS: Chicago Fire at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the Houston Dynamo were fortunate to escape BC Place with a point in their 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. They were also unfortunate to not get away with all three points, but poor set piece defense in stoppage time found the home team coming away with a result after pounding on the door for a goal for a large amount of the second half. The Dynamo led twice in the game, but they still need to find ways to manage games better other than sitting back and trying to out possess teams. Still, a point on the road was a decent result; it’s just troubling that the team has been inconsistent both at home and away.

The Dynamo currently have a 3-3-3 record and sit two spots out of a playoff position. This week they’ll head to the Windy City to play the Chicago Fire who are in a similar situation. They possess a 3-5-2 record and sit outside a playoff spot, but have been 2-3-1 at Toyota Park. The Fire, like the Dynamo, have been unpredictable this season which could work in Houston’s favor should they execute their game plan properly and are able to finish off their chances.

Wilmer Cabrera’s options will be limited due to injuries which continue to plague the Dynamo defense and midfield. The midfield specifically could be where this game is won or lost. With Juan David Cabezas still sidelined, a big question mark looms over the availability of Darwin Cerén. Cerén was forced to come off in the 14th minute against Vancouver last week due to a leg injury and his status is not known at this time. I think that the starting midfield three is likely to be Tomás Martínez in his usual more attacking oriented role, Oscar Boniek García playing more defensively, but also as a facilitator, and Eric Alexander in the deepest lying midfield spot.

Up top I’d anticipate the usual suspects of Romell Quioto on the left wing, Mauro Manotas at center forward, and Alberth Elis on the right wing. Manotas has struggled some lately, despite getting a late goal last week, but I don’t see Cabrera changing his system up drastically especially after Manotas was able to put the ball in the net last week.

DaMarcus Beasley was a mysterious omission from last week’s 18 which was revealed to be due to pain and his knee bothering him. It’s hard to predict if he’ll be ready to go Sunday, but with Adam Lundqvist now on the roster, the Dynamo can give Beasley some additional rest if he needs it. In central defense I think Wilmer continues to give Alejandro Fuenmayor minutes and he does it with Adolfo Machado next to him and Andrew Wenger at right back.

Injury Report

OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL)

OUT: M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad injury)

OUT: D - Philippe Senderos (right hamstring injury)

OUT: D - George Malki (left knee sprain)

OUT: D - Dylan Remick (concussion)

OUT: D - Kevin Garcia (left hamstring injury)

OUT: D - Jared Watts (right hamstring injury)

M - Darwin Ceren (leg injury)

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 Chicago Fire!