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Texas Derby Edition: Pick the Houston Dynamo Starting Lineup against FC Dallas

Who should Davy Arnaud start against our in-state rivals? 

MLS: FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo snapped their four game regular season losing streak with a draw against the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Next up, they’re on the road to participate in the MLS’s rivalry week as they head to Frisco, TX to take on our in-state rivals FC Dallas (or Frisco).

Davy Arnaud has taken the helm following the departure of Wilmer Cabrera as head coach and while his debut didn’t see the club earn three points, we did get a glimpse of some improvements. Despite going down a pair of goals against the Rapids, Arnaud was able to adjust his tactics to get a goal back and then another to secure a draw. A typical strategy against the Dynamo after getting a lead had been to essentially park the bus in order to clog their half and to counter attack to generate any offense. Colorado did that after their lead, and Arnaud decided to concede some space in the midfield – or sit deeper while losing – to find the space to counter attack. Counter attacking has been the bread and butter of this Dynamo team for awhile so by giving up part of the midfield down by two was a risky move, but one that paid off.

It will be interesting to see who Arnaud looks to again in his starting XI. One would think for a rivalry match and for a team looking to snap its winless streak Arnaud opts for his strongest possible XI. That would mean Mauro Manotas at center forward who has been on a tear recently. Alberth Elis looked refreshed in his match against Colorado and I would expect him to start. The next big question is who starts on the left wing. Last week Memo Rodríguez started for the suspended Romell Quioto, but he didn’t look nearly as dangerous as his substitute Christian Ramirez. This decision will be telling of how Arnaud deals with some of his players poor decisions – namely Quioto’s – so I would predict Ramirez to start. However, I could easily see Quioto starting and using Ramirez as a fantastic option of the bench.

The midfield should be easier to predict for Arnaud’s selection. Tomás Martínez looked good against the Rapids even though the Dynamo weren’t able to secure a goal until Tommy McNamara was brought on for Martínez. Still I think our number 10 gets the start with Matías Vera and Oscar Boniek García behind him.

Defensively there are a few questions, but we should anticipate Maynor Figueroa and Kiki Struna to start in central defense. Left back will be difficult to predict. Adam Lundqvist started for Arnaud last week with Beasley exiting the previous fixture early due to an injury. Lundqvist did provide an incredible assist to Manotas against Colorado, but I think Beasley will Captain this side in a rivalry match. Right back is also tough to determine. Cabrera shifted things over to José Bizama in his final match while Arnaud went back to A.J. DeLaGarza partially because Bizama was subbed off against the Philadelphia Union for an injury. This week, even though Bizama does not appear on the injury report, I think he sticks with AJ although I think it’s a 50/50 guess as to who starts against Dallas. In goal, I think we see Joe Willis start again with Tyler Deric still on the injury report for a concussion.

My Projected Starting Lineup:

So who do you want to see starting against Frisco? Let us know and please share your selections in the comment section below.