The Houston Dynamo have been eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they can now turn their attention to the MLS regular season and not have to worry about resting players before a midweek CCL game.
The Dynamo drew their first game of the year against Real Salt Lake in a 1-1 match and they followed up that performance with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact. This week they’ll host the Vancouver Whitecaps at BBVA Compass Stadium who lost their first two games of the season and are in dire need of points.
Even though the Dynamo had a midweek game on the road against Tigres, I think we see starters take the field against the Whitecaps. That means up top we’ll likely see our dangerous attacking trio of Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis. Manotas currently has two goals in two games and will be looking to keep his streak alive.
The midfield is a little more difficult to predict. Tomás Martínez came off the bench against Tigres, but he’s been rested often following a physical game against RSL. I think he’s likely to start, but there’s a chance that Tommy McNamara could get the start over the number 10. Behind Tomás we’re likely to see the return of Matías Vera who missed last week’s Impact game due to suspension. The real question is who the final midfielder will be. I’ve been saying Juan David Cabezas is coming back from discomfort in his leg for a few games and he still hasn’t. He’s currently listed as OUT on the injury report, but I think he’s likely questionable. I’m going to say Oscar Boniek García starts over Cabezas, but it could also be Darwin Cerén.
Defensively we saw Cabrera make an interesting decision against Tigres. He started DaMarcus Beasley and 20 minutes in substituted the uninjured Beasley for Adam Lundqvist. The choice was called a tactical move, but it raised a lot of eyebrows. I think Beasley is back in on the left side of defense. Centrally, I think it will be Alejandro Fuenmayor and Kiki Struna. Maynor Figueroa could be the choice, but he took a hard knock against Tigres and was forced to come off. At right back A.J. DeLaGarza should get the start with Joe Willis in goal.
My Projected Starting Lineup:
With Champions League not a factor anymore, who do you want to see in the starting lineup against the Vancouver Whitecaps? Let us know and please share your selections in the comment section below.