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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Houston Dynamo

Houston is coming off a 3-3 draw last week to the New England Revolution.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The second game of the season sees us face off against our rivals down south.

Previous Meetings

FC Dallas is on a streak of beating the Houston Dynamo in MLS. Dallas has won the last 5 MLS meetings with the Dynamo, 2 of them in Houston. The score lines have been pretty convincing as well. Last season the Dynamo were outmatched by the hoops on three occasions. Houston made some moves this offseason, such as acquiring Christian Maidana from the Union, but much of the team remains the same as it was last year.

Potential Lineup

The Dynamo were decent last week and will likely stick to the 4-2-3-1. Tyler Deric will miss this game and Damarcus Beasley is questionable, but a start seems likely. Sheanon Williams is slated to return and replace Jalil Anibaba.

GK: Joe Willis; LB: Damarcus Beasley; CB: David Horst, Raul Rodriguez; RB: Sheanon Williams; CDM: Ricardo Clark, Alex; LM: Giles Barnes; CAM: Christian Maidana; RM: Andrew Wenger; FW: Will Bruin.

Key Matchup

Atiba Harris vs. Giles Barnes. Atiba Harris had a really good game last week, which I was very happy to see as a big fan of the guy. Atiba was allowed to run the entire right side of the field and deliver several good crosses. This week he will have more defensive responsibility taking on Giles Barnes. Barnes is a big threat on the break and Harris ability to defend him will be big in this game. Harris is up to the challenge I believe #makeatibagreatagain

Keys to Three Points

Counter Attacks

Houston and New England played a wide open game this weekend. If Dallas wants success on Saturday then they will need to shut-down Houston’s speed going forward. If he starts this will be a good test for Walker Zimmerman. Can Zim provide more defensively than height? He will need to contain a quicker offense this week.

Michael Barrios

The hoops will be without Fabian Castillo this week after that nasty injury. Barrios will need to stretch out the Houston defense and make up for what we lose without Castillo. Barrios is more than capable of being a pacey threat, but he will need to be dangerous in front of goal this week. Hopefully Barrios shows he can provide that spark going forward that we miss without Fabian.

Deeper Creativity

Carlos Gruezo had an exciting debut last week. He made tackles and started attacks very well. More of that will be necessary this week from the whole team. He and Acosta will need to get the counter-attacks started from deep in the midfield if Dallas really want to break open the Houston defense and see another 4-1 score line. Maybe they can learn a thing or two from Zimmerman?

Prediction

I was very impressed with our start to the season on both ends of the field. Defensively Dallas looked solid and the offense was the usual, rapid, but lacking a finishing touch. Recently, Dallas has become a real bogeyman for the Dynamo and I expect a combination of early season Dallas form and Houston fear to drive the hoops to victory once again.

My Prediction: 4-1 FC Dallas.