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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. the Colorado Rapids

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against the Rapids?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo’s form this season has been up and down with the club finally putting together its first winning streak of the year not long ago which they followed up by dropping two games on the road. The Dynamo will hope to snap their losing streak when they return home to BBVA Compass Stadium to host the Colorado Rapids. Saturday’s game against the Rapids will be the team’s fifth game in sixteen days, but they’ll get the following week off with the World Cup Group Stage kicking off.

For Wilmer Cabrera, injuries have stretched his team thin with this last two weeks being particularly difficult due to the heavy minutes some of his players have had to endure. Fortunately for Cabrera, Wednesday’s midweek game was against amateur side NTX Rayados which allowed the team to sign several USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC Toros players in order to rest some of his usual starters. In addition, we saw Philippe Senderos get minutes against Rayados which is good news for the Dynamo depth along the back line.

Up top in the last league game against the Montreal Impact Cabrera shifted things up by starting Alberth Elis at center forward with Arturo Álvarez and Memo Rodríguez alongside him. With Memo and Álvarez playing extensive minutes against Rayados, I think we see a return to the Romell QuiotoMauro Manotas – and Elis top three that we’re used to seeing.

In midfield, the injuries to Juan David Cabezas and Darwin Cerén have left a hole in the defensive midfield position. Against Montreal Cabrera started Eric Bird, which may have been too much responsibility for the young player. Tomás Martínez should return to the starting lineup in his usual CAM role since he did not start against the Impact nor did he play against Rayados. With the lack of many options available for Cabrera I think we see Eric Alexander and Oscar Boniek García also in the midfield. Cabrera has been pretty tight lipped about injuries and recoveries with Cabezas briefly making an appearance in a game before he returned to the injury report so it isn’t easy to predict.

Defensively, we’ve seen a lot of players plugged into positions they aren’t used to seeing due to the number of injured players along the back. Adam Lundqvist, naturally a left back, has played at right back and Kevin Garcia, naturally a right back, has played at center back. Right now, I think DaMarcus Beasley is the de facto left back with Leonardo and Alejandro Fuenmayor in the center and either Lundqvist or Andrew Wenger at right back. Fuenmayor, who did play against Rayados, is also off his two game suspension for a challenge against NYCFC. I’m tempted to predict Wenger to start because he has appeared on the bench against Real Salt Lake and the Montreal Impact, but he didn’t play in either with Lundqvist seeing the start so until Wenger does see the pitch, I’m predicting Lundqvist.

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 - Jared Watts (right hamstring 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 the Rapids!