The 2020 MLS season is underway with the Houston Dynamo opening things up with a visit from the LA Galaxy. After an overall underwhelming 2019 with the Dynamo missing the playoffs and a poor run at the US Open Cup, the Dynamo brass decided to make a big change at the head coaching spot by bringing in Tab Ramos.
The preseason has been a little bit of a mixed bag which hasn’t answered too many of the questions many fans had. They finished with an overall preseason record of 3-1-1 which had a couple of huge wins with a large loss thrown in the mix as well. The big offseason get by Houston was Darwin Quintero who sat out most of preseason to rest an injury. Alberth Elis also missed most of the preseason after getting an injury against Rio Grande Valley FC so two integral parts of this team didn’t see much time under the new head coach.
The Dynamo made a number of moves this offseason including moving the disgruntled Romell Quioto, but many of the Dynamo options up top remain including Elis, Mauro Manotas, Darwin Quintero, Memo Rodríguez, Tommy McNamara, Ronaldo Peña, Michael Salazar, and midseason acquisition Christian Ramirez.
Peña did not feature for the Dynamo this preseason and Elis is listed as OUT on the MLS Injury Report. Additionally, Quintero is listed as QUESTIONABLE, but he did see minutes in the final preseason game so I think he will get minutes, but likely off the bench. I would think that under Tab Ramos’s 4-3-3 we see Memo Rodríguez, Manotas, and Tommy McNamara all get the call as the group of forwards. This is the group we’ve seen the most, but expect to see some changes when Elis and Quintero get healthier.
In the midfield I would think Tab looks to Tomás Martínez, who had a very good preseason, Matías Vera, and Oscar Boniek García. Tab Ramos had put Tommy Mac in the midfield with Niko Hansen as a forward for one game, but it didn’t go well so I think this is what we’ll see.
Defensively should be more straightforward for Ramos with Victor Cabrera listed as OUT and Zarek Valentin as QUESTIONABLE. Adam Lundqvist has stepped up to replace the USMNT legend DaMarcus Beasley at left back and he’s largely done well at the job. Following the departure of A.J. DeLaGarza, the Dynamo had a hole at RB, but they filled it by bringing in José Bizama and Valentin. With Valentin not 100%, expect to see Bizama lining up at RB. In central defense the duo of Maynor Figueroa and Kiki Struna should get the call to start. Struna missed some time this preseason, but he should be ready for Saturday’s game. As the season goes on, Alejandro Fuenmayor should challenge the 36 year old Figueroa for minutes, but for the opener I’d say the Honduran starts.
The Dynamo made a number of changes regarding their goalkeeper position. They traded Joe Willis to acquire Valentin and never picked up Tyler Deric’s option which left a pretty big opening in goal. The front office went out and brought in Cody Cropper to back up a big signing in Marko Marić who should be Houston’s #1 in goal.
My Projected Starting Lineup:
With this being the season opener and Tab’s first test we could see changes here, but this is will be our starting XI, but who do you want to see start against the LA Galaxy? Let us know and share your selections in the comment section below.