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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against SKC?

MLS: Western Conference Knockout Round-Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The break is over even though the World Cup is still underway and the Houston Dynamo return to action as they travel to Children’s Mercy Park to take on Sporting Kansas City. The Dynamo have been up and down all season in form, but are coming off a pair of US Open Cup wins and a win over the Colorado Rapids in league play. Sporting Kansas City though is operating at a very high level as they sit at the top of the conference with the best defense in terms of goals allowed and one of the best offenses in the league. The Dynamo will have their work cut out for them in this one.

Injuries have hindered Wilmer Cabrera’s selections particularly along the back line and in defensive midfield. Up top we should see the usual trio of Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis. All three played in the US Open Cup match this past Monday, but there’s been enough time between games to rest and none of these players went the full 90 minutes so I’d expect them to start in Kansas City.

In the midfield the injuries to Juan David Cabezas and Darwin Cerén have left a hole in the defensive center of the midfield. Eric Alexander is the player I would anticipate in this spot. Eric Bird has also gotten a chance to play in this position, but I think Alexander gets it. Next to him will likely be Oscar Boniek García who has shown a lot of hustle pressuring players up the field and Tomás Martínez should be starting in the CAM spot.

Along the back we’re missing several players to injury and Adolfo Machado is still with the Panama National Team in Russia. DaMarcus Beasley is the go-to starter at left back and should start there again. At center back I think Leonardo and Alejandro Fuenmayor start, but I could see any combination of either of them and Philippe Senderos starting to be honest. Adam Lundqvist should be up to start at right back with Andrew Wenger injured and Joe Willis should be in goal.

Injury Report

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

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

OUT: F/M/D – Andrew Wenger (calf injury)

OUT: D - George Malki (left knee sprain)

OUT: D - Dylan Remick (concussion)

OUT: D - Jared Watts (right hamstring injury)

OUT: F – Mac Steeves (left hip injury)

OUT: 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 SKC!