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Pick the Starting Lineup: Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC

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Who should Wilmer Cabrera start against the Loons?

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Minnesota United FC vs Houston Dynamo John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo are moving on to their next match following the oddity that was their midweek game against Los Angeles Football Club. In that game we had a weather delay before the start of the national anthem with the sky changing several different colors over the delay, LAFC controlled the game well, and we saw two stoppage time goals by the Dynamo to equalize the match. It was one of the most bizarre and satisfying finishes to a game that I’ve ever seen. Saturday’s opponent, Minnesota United FC, was also in action this week and were able to best the reigning MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC.

The Front Office for the Dynamo has brought in some support for Wilmer Cabrera while the transfer window is open. Yesterday the Dynamo acquired Venezuelan forward Ronaldo Peña, but it’s unclear when he’ll officially join the team and begin training. Peña is a versatile forward and should see minutes behind Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis.

Wilmer Cabrera knows his team needs points to move up the table. Getting a draw late against LAFC was acceptable, but the team did not show up for most of the match. Up top Cabrera should start Quioto, Manotas, and Elis. He needs to play a strong lineup and there aren’t many forwards on this roster. If he rests Quioto or Elis by keeping them on the bench, I’d anticipate Memo Rodríguez or Arturo Álvarez to get minutes.

The middle of the field was a big problem against LAFC. There was just too much space between the attacking players and the defenders/defensive midfielders. Eric Bird got the start over the suspended Eric Alexander and he needed to close space down a little better. Good news for the Dynamo is that they’ll have Alexander back, but also Darwin Cerén. Cerén even got minutes against LAFC and I would expect him to start in the deepest defensive mid role. Next to him we could see Eric Alexander back in the mix or Oscar Boniek García. Boniek has been performing well in this “right central midfield position”, but he could get rested for the fresher Alexander. Tomás Martínez should get the start as the attacking midfield player, but should Wilmer want to keep him on the bench I’d expect Luis Gil to start as the CAM.

Defensively there’s a bit of good news as well. Adolfo Machado, who was with the Panama National Team at the World Cup, no longer appears under international absences and could be available for selection. Alejandro Fuenmayor and Philippe Senderos have been a good pair and I think they’ll be in the starting XI at center back. At left back, it’s possible DaMarcus Beasley gets rested, but I think he starts with Adam Lundqvist at right back. Should Beasley get rested, I’d slot Lundqvist to his natural left back position and we could see Machado starting at right back.

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)

*Remick does not appear on the Injury Report, but is out for the season.

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 Loons!