It has not been a good stretch for the Houston Dynamo lately. Apart from a satisfying 4-0 win over the New York Red Bulls which looked like the club had turned things around, it appeared that the win was an outlier as the club has dropped three straight since then. In fact over those three games the club has given up eleven goals with the last midweek matchup being a 5-0 loss to Atlanta United FC.
For whatever reason Wilmer Cabrera chose to rest some key players in that Atlanta match and given the 5-0 loss, he’ll definitely want to deploy the strongest XI possible when the club travels north of the border to take on Toronto FC.
Up top the Dynamo will be without Alberth Elis who earned a straight red card in the midweek game against Atlanta. The good news is that Cabrera had Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas come off the bench so they should be relatively fresh for Toronto. Replacing Elis won’t be easy, but I would think that Tommy McNamara – who came off at halftime for Quioto – gets the start. It could go to Marlon Hairston or Ronaldo Peña, but Cabrera has shown that he likes to go to Tommy Mac so I’d guess him.
In the midfield we should see Tomás Martínez as the central attacking midfielder. Tomás also came off at halftime so he should be ready as well. Behind him I think we see the pairing of Matías Vera and Oscar Boniek García. Boniek didn’t play against Atlanta and should be well rested.
The back line isn’t easy to predict, but we should expect Maynor Figueroa and Kiki Struna to partner together in central defense. At left back, DaMarcus Beasley started against Atlanta in his first game back since his injury against New England. I think Cabrera doesn’t put too much of a workload on him and goes back to Adam Lundqvist. At right back it was unclear if Cabrera went with Kevin Garcia to rest A.J. DeLaGarza against Atlanta, or if AJ was being benched after a poor showing against LAFC. If it was rest, count on AJ to start again. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be shocked to see Marlon Hairston get the surprise nod. I think AJ will get it though. In goal Cabrera shook things up again and started Tyler Deric, but I think Joe Willis returns between the sticks.
My Projected Starting Lineup:
So who do you want to see starting against Toronto FC? Let us know and please share your selections in the comment section below.