Houston Dynamo FC are coming off a respectable draw with LAFC last weekend and have a record of 1-1-1 in their first three fixtures. Up next is a team with the same record, FC Dallas, in what is the first Texas Derby of 2021 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. While the Dynamo drew their last match, FC Dallas absolutely smashed the Portland Timbers to the tune of 4-1, a team Houston lost to in week 2, so Tab Ramos will want to have his side ready for the challenge.
Dynamo manager Tab Ramos has not budged on his lineup selection in his first three games in, including inserting the midfielder Oscar Boniek García in at center back while Maynor Figueroa was recovering from international duty. When Figueroa was available he returned to the bench with Boniek still getting the starting nod. There is likely a lot of obvious players starting since Tab Ramos has not made changes to his side, but the most obvious is the man in goal, Marko Marić.
Defensively, I think we’re fairly likely to see the same back four as we have across the first three games with Adam Lundkvist at left back and Zarek Valentin on the right. Centrally, offseason acquisition Tim Parker is a lock so the question is does the last spot go to Boniek, Figueroa, or Alejandro Fuenmayor. If it were me, I’d go with the veteran Figueroa since Boniek has had flashes of brilliance at the position coupled with other moments of insecurity leading to him being out of position at times. Will Tab do that? My guess is no and Boniek starts which is more or less based on the fact that he hasn’t moved him yet.
The midfield should be similarly easy to predict for the early Saturday afternoon kickoff. Matías Vera has been solid as the most defensive midfielder along with Joe Corona being able to supply the forwards and advanced midfielders with perfectly weighted long through passes. Memo Rodríguez has typically played on the wings, but has been deployed as more of a #10 or a false #9 and I think he’ll be back in the more advanced attacking midfield position with other attacking players more or less doing enough to keep their positions.
Up top there was word that Argentine forward Mateo Bajamich was fit enough to travel with the first team to Dallas. Ramos told the press, “I think it is likely that he travels with us to Dallas this weekend and it is a possibility that he may give us time as well”. While it’s great to see the player get that kind of endorsement from his manager, it doesn’t sound like he’s guaranteed a starting job. Instead I think the safest player to start is Tyler Pasher on the wing. Pasher has done very well adapting to MLS . Pasher has contributed of the four goals the Dynamo has scored this season with a goal, assist, and forced own goal under his belt. Next Maxi Urruti has done well as the center forward as he’s notched a goal, and probably should’ve gotten at least another one or two as well, but his defensive work has also stood out. Lastly Fafà Picault should be expected to start on the opposite wing as Pasher. Picault has struggled a bit in his first few games with his decision making and his touch, but his pace should keep him in the starting lineup at least until someone like Ariel Lassiter or Bajamich edges him out.
My Projected Starting Lineup:
This is just the lineup that I think we’ll see, but what do you think we’ll see? What should the starting XI look like in the Dynamo’s game against FC Dallas in the first game of the Texas Derby? Let us know in the comments below!