Pick Houston Dynamo roster vs. Sporting Kansas City

Houston Dynamo FC began their 2022 campaign equipped with a new majority owner, a new general manager, a new head coach and a few new pieces to push them into the race after the bottom of the final of the Western Conference last season. They opened the season last week with a 0-0 home draw against Real salt lake which was disappointing, but still somewhat promising on the defensive end to get the clean sheet. With the big news of Dynamo signing Hector Herrera in the spotlight, it’s important to remind everyone that we have a game to play on Saturday afternoon in our first away game of the season when we face SportingKansas City at Mercy Park for children.

Paulo Nagamura’s first matchday at the helm had a somewhat conservative starting XI with two defensive midfielders and wingers who often sat in midfield rather than supporting Sebastián Ferreira’s centre-forward. The result was more defensive support, but a very unintimidating and listless attack. Hopefully we will see Nagamura’s game plan a bit better as he returns to the club he played at and helped as a coach. Nagamura probably won’t change his preferred 4-3-3 formation any time soon, but he will likely make some changes to the personnel. In goal, it should be a no-brainer to start Steve Clark who was quite possibly Dynamo’s best player last Sunday.

Defensively, there will probably be changes. Last week, Daniel Steres joined forces with Tim Parker in central defense. I think this week Steres takes his place as Designated Player Teenage Hadebe returns to his starting position next to Parker. At left-back, we’ll likely see Adam Lundkvist start. Last week, Griffin Dorsey came off injured at half-time and is currently listed as doubtful. Zeca has arrived in Houston, but it’s definitely too early for him to start, so I think Zarek Valentin gets the job right away after a strong outing last weekend.

The midfielder is hard to predict given that last week Nagamura was more conservative with his line-up choices and this week is on the road – usually away teams will play him safer. That being said, I think he shakes things up with Memo Rodríguez and Adalberto “Coco” Carrasquilla partnering in central midfield with Matías Vera supporting them in a more defensive midfield role. I think Coco and Memo will take turns pushing, with the other staying deeper to help Vera cover potential counterattacks.

Up top, Ferreira as a centre-forward is another highlight. Despite a relatively ineffective game against RSL, it was mainly because he had no support that forced him to drop deeper to touch the ball. The left wing should be Fafà Picault who sometimes seemed dangerous during the counter-attack last week. The right wing is harder to predict. I think Corey Baird will start, although I thought he had a relatively poor performance against RSL, so I would like Tyler Pasher to start as he is a more dynamic winger, but I think the job is up to Baird.

My projected starting XI

It’s just who I think will start based on previous matches and who is available. But we want to know who you think will start or who should be in the starting XI against Sporting Kansas City. Vote below and feel free to share your selections in the comments.

Sharon D. Cole