Houston Dynamo FC are coming off their strongest performance of the season after they got their first win of the year over the Vancouver Whitecaps. This week the competition is getting a little more difficult with the visiting Colorado Rapids. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster year for new Dynamo Head Coach Paulo Nagamura with a record of 1-1-1. The Rapids have been in form in Commerce City, Colorado so taking them on at PNC Stadium in Houston will be a good measure for both the Dynamo and the Rapids.
One of the hallmarks of the early year has been the defense only allowing two goals in three games. The defense shouldn’t change too much which has been anchored by Steve Clark in goal in Nagamura’s 4-3-3 formation. Griffin Dorsey at right back had an incredible save last week and after earning his starting job back following an injury he should be expected to start despite having competition from the veteran Zarek Valentin and newcomer Zeca. At left back Adam Lundkvist should be expected to start again over his competition in Sam Junqua and Zeca. In central defense Tim Parker as captain should start, but his partner is tougher to predict. Daniel Steres has been the starter this year over designated player Teenage Hadebe who had been expected to partner with Parker. However, Steres hasn’t given me any reason to think he won’t start early in the year so he gets my nod.
The midfield part of the lineup has been the most difficult to predict in the 2022 season, but after such a controlling win over the Whitecaps it would be counterproductive for Nagamura not to play the same midfield three. That would mean Matías Vera playing the deepest midfielder alongside Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla and Darwin Quintero who featured in the MLS Team of the Week following his brace over Vancouver. I went on Glenn Davis’s show Soccer Matters to talk about the game and he had a good point about Quintero’s age and not starting every week, but conceded to my point about starting him this week after his game against the Whitecaps because how can you not start someone that’s not on the injury report and just scored two goals.
The forwards can be a little tricky to predict too, but again after such a good game – even if it was really led by the midfield – how can you not roll with the same crew again? That would mean Sebastián Ferreira as the center forward and Fafà Picault and Corey Baird as the wings. Personally I think Baird works well in this group as a forward that can get back defensively which complements a more attacking oriented midfield, but I’d prefer a Tyler Pasher getting minutes. However, after getting an assist last match, it’s hard not to start Baird especially with his work ethic on the other side of the ball.
My Projected Starting XI
This is just who I think will start based on my own observations and glance at the injury report, but we want to know you think will start or just your opinion about who you think should start when the Dynamo kickoff at PNC Stadium against the Rapids. Vote below and feel free to share your selections in the comments.