The days of double game weeks are back for the Houston Dynamo with a trip to the big apple to face the New York Red Bulls first before returning to Texas to take on FC Dallas in their stadium. The Dynamo have not won a league game since July 7th where they bested Minnesota United FC 3-0. There have been a number of issues facing the team including injuries, a very compact schedule, and suspensions, but many of the games they’ve lost or drawn have been close and tactics towards the end of games have them giving up a lot of goals after the 80th minute. In their last league match against FC Dallas, which resulted in a draw, they gave up another goal after the 80th minute but were able to equalize before the final whistle.
While not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, it would require a herculean effort to somehow land a spot. The Dynamo are 10 points back with 9 games to go before the post season begins. With the playoffs likely out of reach the Dynamo need to turn their attention to the US Open Cup Final next month against the Philadelphia Union and winning the Texas Derby. The final game against FC Dallas is this weekend so if I were Wilmer Cabrera I would rest some players against the Red Bulls.
Up top I would reward Ronaldo Peña for his work against Dallas last weekend and start him on the right wing. At center forward I would play Alberth Elis with Romell Quioto on the left. Quioto and Elis can switch being the center forward from time to time to keep the offense changing.
The midfield I would field against RBNY would consist of Luis Gil at the center attacking midfield spot, Eric Alexander as the deepest lying midfielder, and Eric Bird or Memo Rodríguez between them. However, I think Cabrera likely doesn’t change things up this much and I think we will see Tomás Martínez at the CAM position, Darwin Cerén as the center defensive midfielder, and Eric Alexander between them.
The back line is also difficult to predict, but the good news is these players have it a little easier on back-to-backs. I think Cabrera will keep DaMarcus Beasley fresh for Dallas and that he’ll easily slot in Adam Lundqvist at left back. In central defense I think we’ll see Philippe Senderos and Alejandro Fuenmayor. Senderos missed the last game, but does not appear on the injury report so I think these two are ready to continue building their chemistry. At right back I think we’ll see Andrew Wenger with Joe Willis in goal.
OUT: D - A.J. DeLaGarza (torn left ACL)
OUT: M - Juan David Cabezas (left quad 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 New York Red Bulls.