The Houston Dynamo’s last CONCACAF Champions League match was October 24th 2013 where they fell 0-1 to Arabe Unido in La Chorrera, Panama. Despite a disappointing regular season in 2018, Houston was able to come away with some silverware as they bested the Philadelphia Union 3-0 in the US Open Cup Final which meant that the Dynamo were qualified for the next CONCACAF Champions League tournament. The team’s first opponent? C.D. Guastatoya out of Guatemala and the first meeting will take place Tuesday, February 19th at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.
The preseason for Houston has been a bit of a mixed bag. The offseason saw several changes with some players retiring and some not having their options picked up. The Dynamo front office have done their best to address areas of the pitch that they’ve needed to while adding depth to account for a busy season that will include Champions League play and the US Open Cup. However, despite the additions, it is still a work in progress evidenced by the club’s uneven performances in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup preseason tournament.
Our group of forwards still includes 2018 staples such as Mauro Manotas, Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis, and the versatile Memo Rodríguez along with midseason acquisition Ronaldo Peña. The Dynamo have added to that group when they signed Marlon Hairston and Tommy McNamara who are both versatile players that traditionally have been midfielders, but Wilmer Cabrera has put them into the attack so far in preseason.
The returning midfielders include 2017 team MVP Juan David Cabezas, Tomás Martínez, Oscar Boniek García, Darwin Cerén, and Eric Bird. To strengthen that group the front office added central midfielder Matías Vera who can slot in next to Cabezas in the midfield or replace him should he need rest or be unavailable.
USMNT legend DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Adam Lundqvist, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Kevin Garcia are returning defenders this season. Joining them includes Aljaž “Kiki” Struna, Maynor Figueroa, Chris Duvall, homegrown product Erik McCue, and rookie Sam Junqua.
In goal the Dynamo will see the same group of goalkeepers they had last season only minus one. Joe Willis, Tyler Deric, and Michael Nelson remain on the roster, but the Dynamo traded Chris Seitz to D.C. United for a second round MLS SuperDraft pick which they used on Andrew Samuels.
Based on what we’ve seen this preseason this is the lineup I would anticipate Wilmer Cabrera to put out against Guastatoya.
My Projected Starting Lineup:
There are a few places that we could see changes, notably Alejandro Fuenmayor over Maynor Figueroa in central defense, but so far we’ve seen Figueroa and Kiki Struna paired together often with the starters. Other than that this is what we should expect to see Tuesday. But who do you want to see start against Guastatoya? Let us know and please share your selections in the comment section below.