I don’t think it’s an unfair characterization to say that the Houston Dynamo’s 2018 season has not gone the way they’ve wanted so far. The Dynamo have faced relatively light competition 7 games in and have come away with a record of 2-3-2 which is some cause for alarm, though it’s far too early to hit the panic button.
Last week the Dynamo were on the road at Minnesota United FC and despite being the better team, were defeated 1-2 as the offense failed to keep up with the defensive mistakes at the back. Finishing has been an issue for the Dynamo which is unusual given they are third in the Western Conference in goals finished. The fact is, they’re getting many more quality opportunities and are sending shots over the top, wide, and right to the keeper.
The Dynamo have had two home games where they’ve blown out competition by 4 goals and they’ll have an opportunity to show everyone with their eyes on Zatan Ibrahimović and the LA Galaxy that the Dynamo can score their share of goals as well. Wilmer Cabrera has been known to shuffle his lineups on a week-to-week basis, but I have to think that his usual starting forwards will remain the same with Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis. Some have interpreted Cabrera’s substitutions as the coach sending a message to his players, but he has to play his best players in a big game against the Galaxy.
And now Quioto. Seems like Wilmer's trying to send a message to his big guns. #MINvHOU— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) April 29, 2018
The midfield is a little trickier since Cabrera opted to start Oscar Boniek García over Eric Alexander last week, but I think he returns to Alexander even though Boniek had a strong showing against the Loons. Alongside him I’d expect Darwin Cerén to hold down the most defensive midfield role with Tomás Martínez in the attacking midfield spot.
Defensively, there are a few injuries including to Jared Watts, Dylan Remick, Philippe Senderos, George Malki, and Kevin Garcia. Thankfully there are a few options for Cabrera. He could try out Adam Lundqvist at left back, but I think it is DaMarcus Beasley’s spot to lose for now. Center backs should be some combination of Leonardo, Adolfo Machado, and Alejandro Fuenmayor, but I think Fuenmayor is the odd man out after giving up a penalty last week. Right back has been a weak spot for the Dynamo this week, but Andrew Wenger has come into the spot and performed well. He should be a no-brainer to start there Saturday.
Lastly, the goalkeeper race has heated up a little. Chris Seitz had been the number one choice for Cabrera all year, but the last two games have seen Joe Willis in goal. Willis has played well overall, though I think Cabrera continues to mix things up and goes back to Seitz against LA.
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 (hamstring 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 LA Galaxy!