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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. Los Angeles FC

Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against LAFC?

MLS: New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The last league match for the Houston Dynamo did not end well. Houston went on the road to Children’s Mercy Park and played Sporting Kansas City very well in the first half which put them up 2-0. Then things began to fall apart as Wilmer Cabrera appeared to have the team defending deeper which allowed the home SKC side to get off more chances which led to them winning 2-3. Cabrera has had to deal with injuries to many defenders and midfielders, but there was a distinct difference between halves.

Since then the club played its annual Dynamo Charities Cup this past Friday in which they fell to Monterrey C. F. 1-2. Cabrera utilized a lot of substitutes since it was a charity match along with players from the Rio Grande Valley FC Toros. This should mean that even though the Dynamo have a short turnaround before their next opponent, Los Angeles FC, they should be rested enough as only reserve defender Conor Donovan and Eric Alexander played the full 90 minutes.

Up top we should see the attacking trio that we’ve become accustomed to seeing. Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis should lead the offense. Quioto has become a very good playmaker this season along with Elis while Manotas is coming off a 2 goal game.

The Dynamo have been more tight lipped about injuries than they have in the past, but the charity match did reveal some good news on the injury front. The defensive midfield position is one of the most important in a Cabrera offense. Juan David Cabezas, who is still currently injured, won the team MVP last season due to his role in essentially holding down the midfield and letting the offensive minded players focus on offense. After Cabezas went down Darwin Cerén took over and did a decent job – those poor turnovers aside. Still, I think most would agree he’s more natural in that position than Eric Alexander who has stepped in. Alexander saw red against SKC so he will not be available. Cerén did play the second half against Monterrey so he should be available although he does still appear on the MLS Injury Report. Will he get the start? That’s a big question. If he doesn’t then I think we see Eric Bird who has seen minutes in the role before. Next to him in midfield should be Oscar Boniek García and Tomás Martínez.

Along the back line I’d expect DaMarcus Beasley to start at left back and Adam Lundqvist at right back. One of the big mistakes Cabrera made last week was subbing on Leonardo to make a 5 man back line. While Leonardo is serviceable, I think Philippe Senderos and Alejandro Fuenmayor looked like the better pairing. As this is being written it’s unclear if Adolfo Machado has returned from the World Cup, but I’m going to assume that if he has returned that Wilmer rests him.

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 - Dylan Remick (concussion)

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 LAFC!