Houston Dynamo FC have a tough matchup against the first MLS club to win the CONCACAF Champions League in the Seattle Sounders. The Dynamo are coming off arguably their strongest performance in their 2-0 win over Nashville SC despite being a man down. Houston sits a few places above Seattle in the Western Conference standings, although the Sounders have a couple games in hand due to their time spent in the Champions League. This will be a big test for both sides with each having games later in the weekend so lineup balance will be important. How Dynamo Head Coach Paulo Nagamura lines up his usual 4-3-3 could be key especially given how compact his schedule has been and will be looking forward.
Steve Clark earned a clean sheet in his outing last weekend over Nashville. He wasn’t forced to make too many saves as the Dynamo goalkeeper, but for extended stretches was constantly put to work. Even with the heavy schedule, he should absolutely be the man expected to start for Nagamura in goal and barring injury start this Sunday as well.
Defensively there are some updates worth mentioning notably the straight red card left back Adam Lundkvist received against Nashville along with Teenage Hadebe being suspended for yellow card accumulation after picking a card up over the weekend. Sam Junqua should easily step in for Lundkvist with Zeca likely starting at right full back. In central defense we should see Tim Parker with his partner likely to be Ethan Bartlow. We could see Daniel Steres return or Zarek Valentin step in, but I think Bartlow has put in the work to get the time while allowing Steres to continue to get back to full fitness.
The midfield was master class level good against Nashville with Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla being the perfect conduit between the defense and the offense. Coco was on another level and he should be expected to start in the midfield along another engine in Darwin Quintero. Should Quintero be rested with the LA Galaxy game on the road before a US Open Cup we could see Memo Rodríguez slot in, although I think he may rest that fixture and play in the Open Cup. According to the broadcast Matías Vera, the usual defensive midfielder, was not available due to personal circumstances so Darwin Cerén filled in over the weekend. I’d say it’s a toss-up between the two, but think Cerén did well enough of a job to keep it to give Vera possibly the game against the LA Galaxy on Sunday.
Up top we saw more variation over the weekend given the heavy schedule the Dynamo have had and have ahead of them. Sebastián Ferreira had been the number 1 go-to for the center forward position but took to the bench against Nashville due to a midweek US Open Cup performance. Sebas should be ready to reclaim his spot especially given his recent form. On the wings we should see Fafà Picault get the start with his partner being the real question here. We could see Tyler Pasher, Griffin Dorsey, or Thiago get the start, but I think – assuming Quintero starts – we’ll see Memo get the go again given how well he played against Nashville. It’s a compact schedule so there’s likely to be a lot of variation in the next few fixtures especially up top.
My Projected Starting XI
This is just who I think will start for the Houston Dynamo against the Seattle Sounders, but we want to know who you think will start – or who you think should start – against Seattle. Vote in our sheet below to let us know, but also feel free to share your choices in the comments.