COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 14: Carlos Rodriguez #22 of FC Dallas gets a hug from teammate Fabian Castillo #7 after Rodriguez scored a goal to tie the game against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park July 14, 2012 in Commerce City, Colorado. FC Dallas won the game 2-1 on a goal by Castillo later in the game. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
FC Dallas will have the opportunity to do something they haven't done all season on Saturday night against Los Angeles and that is field an unchanged lineup from the previous week. There were amazingly no injuries, red cards or any other nonsense that will keep the previous lineup from taking the field and when you defeated your last opponent 5-0, logic would say you do stay with that lineup.
I think it would be a minor surprise if we do see any changes to the XI that beat Portland on Saturday night against the Galaxy except for one position, left midfield. There's three possible options, so let's take a look at them and then discuss?
Don't Change a Thing
One of the joys of Saturday night was watching Jair Benitez and Carlos Rodriguez combine with some wonderful 1-2's and know exactly when one should stay back while the other pushed forward. It brought out the best game we've seen from Benitez in awhile and also provided the possession that Schellas Hyndman loves on the wings.
Also, Rodriguez is enjoying his best run with Dallas right now. He had the spectacular goal against Colorado, some nice plays off the bench against San Jose and possibly his best game with FCD against Portland. Time and again, the coaching staff will tell you it takes an international player 3-4 months to adapt to the style of MLS and it looks like Carlos Rodriguez is really coming into his own.
Is his best position left midfield? Probably not in an isolated situation, but perhaps Jair Benitez, an attacking-style left back, is the perfect complement to Rodriguez's possession style of play at left midfield.
Chemistry is a funny thing and the left side of Rodriguez/Benitez seems to have it.
Bring Back Brek
Brek Shea place himself squarely into the doghouse with his outburst last Wednesday night, but the fact remains that the fans wouldn't be so frustrated with him if he wasn't so fantastically talented. In a game that could be an extremely cagey affair that is won by a moment of magic, Shea is the one that's going to bring that element.
The weekend off could be exactly what the Texan needed as a kick in the pants to get him back on track and he could come out on Saturday motivated as hell to prove to his coach and teammates that he still wants to be a the superstar of this team.
Schellas Hyndman is a coach that always tries to get his best XI on the field no matter the positions and if you want your most talented XI players on the field, you don't start Brek Shea on the bench.
Castillo All The Way
Fabian Castillo had his best game as a professional just a couple weeks ago against Colorado. It was the Colombian who had the cross & game-winning goal to crucially pull Dallas out of their winless run and set a string of good play in motion that hasn't stopped.
Castillo's speed is a gamechanger and something that can really stretch the Galaxy back line. He plays fantastically well whenever David Ferreira is on the pitch as well.
If you want the hot player who brings you the most offense to start the game on the left wing, this is probably your best option. On the downside, Castillo doesn't play a lot of defense and keeps Jair Benitez at bay as it doesn't seem the older Colombian trusts the younger one to cover for him when he makes his forays towards the opposition penalty area.
So which one should Schellas start on Saturday? It's a must-win game for FCD, do you go with what worked last week? The best overall player? Or the hottest offensive player?