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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. New York City FC

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against NYCFC?

MLS: Houston Dynamo vs New York City FC David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo got their first win on the road last Sunday in their 3-2 win over the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Although they took an early lead in the fourth minute thanks to Romell Quioto, a defensive lapse at the back led to two goals by the Fire to put them up early into the first half. The Dynamo didn’t let that discourage them as they were able to fight back and earn a penalty and then the game winner while holding down the lead until the final whistle.

The team returns home to face New York City FC Friday evening. The Dynamo have been up and down at home besting teams like Atlanta United FC 4-0 and Toronto FC 5-1, but they’ve lost ones to the Vancouver Whitecaps and the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo will need to do what they do best against a very talented NYCFC team and they’ll need to stay dialed in for the full 90 minutes. The game against the Fire showed us that even a two minute lack of concentration can be extremely costly.

Wilmer Cabrera will once again be limited with his options especially in the midfield and along the back line due to injuries. The defensive midfield options are lacking with Juan David Cabezas and Darwin Cerén still on the injury sheet. That should mean Eric Alexander and Oscar Boniek García in the starting lineup again after solid outings against the Fire. Slightly above them will be Tomás Martínez in a more attacking midfield role.

Up top, the starting three should be unchanged from last week with Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis all getting the call. Quioto and Elis each found the back of the net against the Fire and Mauro Manotas drew the penalty that helped level the game. Cabrera showed late in the game his willingness to adjust his formation, but these three are likely to be the starting forwards.

The back line is very difficult to predict with so many injuries. Cabrera could opt to rest DaMarcus Beasley for newcomer Adam Lundqvist after a relatively short turnaround, but I think Beasley still gets the start at left back. Andrew Wenger is a no-brainer at right back until A. J. DeLaGarza returns. Centrally, I think we see Alejandro Fuenmayor and Adolfo Machado again. Fuenmayor has looked better as a left center back in my opinion and still needs to acclimate to MLS, but he is improving.

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 NYCFC!