Houston Dynamo FC will resume the MLS regular season tonight as they head to Exploria Stadium to take on Orlando City SC following the brief international break. The Dynamo shouldn’t be too rusty as they did have a game in the form of their Charities Cup match when they defeated Athlético San Luis 1-0 thanks to a Tyler Pasher finish. Houston currently sits in the 8th spot in the Western Conference with 18 points while Orlando occupies the 5th spot with 22, although their home form has been spotty which gets addressed in our interview with our SB Nation friends at the Mane Land.
Houston has two wins away from PNC Stadium this season under the stewardship of Head Coach Paulo Nagamura which is the first time they’ve gotten an away win since 2020. Away wins in MLS are notoriously difficult, but two in a season by about the halfway mark demonstrates progress the club led by the new coach, general manager, and majority owner have made in a brief period. How they do at Exploria Stadium does depend on who Paulo Nagamura decides to start in his usual 4-3-3.
To start between the sticks it would be incredibly unlikely to not see goalkeeper Steve Clark. Clark has put up good numbers and his veteran presence has provided stability as the defense has begun to find its footing. The partnership in central defense that we’ve seen the most has been between Designated Player Teenage Hadebe and Captain Tim Parker. We could see Daniel Steres or Ethan Bartlow, but I think barring a late injury Hadebe and Parker start in Orlando. At the full back positions, Adam Lundkvist had a great assist to Pasher in the Charities Cup game against San Luis and should start on the left with Zeca starting at right back.
The midfield is a little more difficult to predict with Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla listed as OUT on the injury report due to health and safety protocols. I’d think as the defensive midfielder Matías Vera will start as the deepest player in the mid 3 with Darwin Quintero the most attacking player. Between the two I think we’ll see Memo Rodríguez although we could see Darwin Cerén feature, I just think Cerén coming back from international duty and not being a regular starter I think Memo will get the call.
Up top also isn’t easy to predict, but I think we can narrow some things down starting at the center forward position which should go to Sebastián Ferreira. The wings are a little more difficult with Fafà Picault, Tyler Pasher, Corey Baird, Thiago, Memo potentially, Thorleifur Úlfarsson, and Griffin Dorsey as viable options among a few others. Picault had been a usual starter, but I think that Pasher will get the start on the left wing. On the right I think Griffin Dorsey will start, but we could see Baird possibly starting.
My Projected Starting XI
These are just the players who I think will start for the Dynamo against Orlando City, but we want to know from you so share your thoughts below.