Houston Dynamo FC are completing their double game week as they return home to PNC Stadium in Houston to face off against Charlotte FC. Both sides are coming off a midweek fixture with the Dynamo falling on the road to the Portland Timbers while Charlotte lost at home to Austin FC. Even though both sides had midweek games, Charlotte’s was more recent as they played on Thursday, so we’ll see if that extra day of rest for Houston will give them any advantage other than the home crowd.
Both the Dynamo and Charlotte occupy the 10th place in their respective conferences and will be looking for points to move up into higher seeding. The Dynamo have been hit and miss week to week in terms of results, but Charlotte have struggled lately with their last win coming June 11th in a revenge match against the New York Red Bulls for knocking Charlotte out of the US Open Cup in the previous month. With the midweek fixtures playing a factor in terms of tired legs, how Dynamo Head Coach Paulo Nagamura lines up his side in his usual 4-3-3 will be very important for getting three points.
The most obvious starter for Nagamura begins in goal with his veteran who still remains in peak form and that’s Steve Clark. Clark’s leadership is incredibly valuable and he’ll provide a loud voice to keep those in front of him organized. That begins with the central defenders and they’ll be without their designated center half in Teenage Hadebe who will be serving a one game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. With Hadebe gone I think we’ll see the pairing of Tim Parker and Daniel Steres. Ethan Bartlow is a viable possibility as well. At the full back spots we should see Adam Lundkvist on the left and Zeca on the right.
In the midfield I think we’ll see one change from the midweek game and that’ll mean Darwin Cerén will be back on the bench. Matías Vera should be expected to start as the defensive midfielder, but I think Nagamura will elect for a more attack oriented lineup with Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla and Darwin Quintero in front of Vera. This should provide more punch and entertainment for the home crowd.
Up top we could see Memo Rodríguez start back in his stronger left wing position, but I think the nod goes to Thorleifur Úlfarsson who has been in better form than Memo. Both played earlier this week so I think they’ll likely replace each other at some point during the second half. In the center forward role we should expect Sebastián Ferreira to be our number 9. On the right we have plenty of options and Nagamura has rotated his wings a lot this season. Personally I think it’ll be between Tyler Pasher and Corey Baird with Pasher ultimately getting the nod.
My Projected Starting XI
There are a lot of different combinations as Nagamura hasn’t pulled the Dominic Kinnear and really stuck with one lineup so these are just the players I think will start. We want to know who you think should or will start though so let us know below.