Houston Dynamo FC are coming off a great 3-1 win on the road last week as they bested Inter Miami CF in a game that was marred by a lengthy weather delay. The win was the third unbeaten game in a row with the club having previously beaten the Vancouver Whitecaps and having drawn with the Colorado Rapids. This week they’re back at PNC Stadium with the San Jose Earthquakes making the trek to Texas. The Earthquakes sit in the bottom spot in the Western Conference which could make for a favorable matchup for the Dynamo, but how Houston performs begins with how Head Coach Paulo Nagamura lines up his side.
Despite a rare error against Miami which resulted in a penalty, Steve Clark should absolutely be expected to start in goal. The full back positions should also be fairly easy to predict with Adam Lundkvist at left back and Griffin Dorsey at right back. Central defense was a little wonky last week with Tim Parker and Daniel Steres not even in the 18 man roster as Teenage Hadebe and Ethan Bartlow started. This week Daniel Steres is the only player on the injury report listed as questionable. I think this week we’ll see Hadebe and Parker start, but who lines up next to Hadebe is a big question mark for me.
The midfield in Nagamura’s 4-3-3 is pretty easy to predict with a single exception. Matías Vera should be the deepest defending midfielder and Darwin Quintero ahead of him. The more difficult one is who plays next to Quintero with it being either Coco Carrasquilla or Memo Rodríguez. Last week Memo had gotten the start but Coco had been the more consistent starter this season. Until something changes, I’m going to say Memo gets the start for Nagamura again, but I could easily see Coco getting the nod.
Up top Nagamura has been pretty consistent with his starting three with a trio of Fafà Picault, Sebastián Ferreira, and Corey Baird. Many have been concerned about Sebas’s lack of production and Thorleifur Úlfarsson’s solid work off the bench along with Tyler Pasher. I think for now, given the win, he sticks with his trio, but I’d imagine the changes off the bench happen earlier and earlier for Baird and Sebas.
My Projected Starting XI
This is who I think will start for the Dynamo vs. the Earthquakes, but we want to know who you think will start or who you think should start when the Dynamo come back to PNC Stadium Saturday evening. Vote below and feel free to share your selections in the comments section.