Choose the Houston Dynamo formation against the San Jose earthquakes

Houston Dynamo FC are coming off a fine 3-1 win on the road last week beating Inter Miami CF in a game that was marred by a long weather delay. The win was the third unbeaten game in a row, with the club having already beaten the Vancouver Whitecaps and having drawn with the Colorado Rapids. This week they are back at PNC Stadium with the San Jose Earthquakes make the trip to Texas. The Earthquakes sit last in the Western Conference, which could be a favorable game for Dynamo, but Houston’s performance starts with how head coach Paulo Nagamura lines up his team.

Despite a rare mistake against Miami which resulted in a penalty, it is absolutely necessary to expect Steve Clark to start in goal. 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 bit wobbly last week with Tim Parker and Daniel Steres not even making 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.

Nagamura’s 4-3-3 midfield is pretty easy to predict with one exception. Matías Vera should be the deepest midfielder and Darwin Quintero ahead of him. The hardest part is knowing who is playing next to Quintero, either Coco Carrasquilla or Memo Rodriguez. Last week, Memo had started, but Coco had been the most consistent starter this season. Until something changes, I’m going to say Memo resumes starting for Nagamura, but I could easily see Coco getting the nod.

Up top, Nagamura has been pretty consistent with his starting line with a line of Fafà Picault, Sebastián Ferreira and Corey Baird. Many have been concerned about Sebas’ lack of production and Thorleifur Úlfarsson’s solid work off the bench with Tyler Pasher. I think for now, given the win, he’s sticking with his line, but I imagine the changes on the bench are happening earlier and earlier for Baird and Sebas.

My projected starting XI

That’s who I think will start for Dynamo against the Earthquakes, but we want to know who you think will start or who you think should start when Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Saturday night. Vote below and feel free to share your selections in the comments section.

Sharon D. Cole