The Texas Derby is here and just like the last meeting we have brought in fellow blogger Derek Stowers from the Dynamo Theory to help preview tonight’s game.
BDS: What do Houston fans think of how this series has gone lately between these two sides? Loads of draws lately, the last ones being 1-1 affairs. Does this still feel like a rivalry to Houston fans?
DT: There are a few ways to look at it both positively and negatively as Dynamo fans. Starting negatively the Dynamo lost the home field advantage by drawing twice which sends the series back to FC Dallas. Positively speaking Dallas is simply a better team this season so the draws are at least a decent result all things considered. The most recent meeting between the Dynamo and Dallas speaks to a larger problem the Dynamo have dealt with and that’s conceding goals late in games.
Overall, this rivalry isn’t what it used to be. In the past games were physical and there was a tremendous amount of satisfaction coming with a win over Dallas. Today, there is still a lot on the line, but it just isn’t the same and at times the rivalry marketing can seem like it’s forced.
BDS: Houston hasn’t won in since early July, what has happened to this team since their last win?
DT: Where do I begin? Well, there have been a number of issues with the Dynamo so I’ll list some of them off and then get to what I believe to be the core issue: A congested schedule due to the US Open Cup along with many regular season double game weeks, injuries at key positions, suspensions and suspect officiating, poor finishing, and poor tactics. The last part to me is the biggest area of concern. Wilmer Cabrera has often taken the lead and then decided to take a conservative approach to defend that lead. The team simply isn’t built to sit on a lead especially with injuries to players like Juan David Cabezas and A.J. DeLaGarza. It invites pressure and chances in our half which is why we give up a lot of goals late in games. On the road, the game plan is often to sit back and try and steal a win on a counter attack. It’s playing for a draw and hoping for a win rather than playing for three points. It’s simply the wrong strategy for our team and the proof is in the results.
BDS: What do the Dynamo need to do to pick up a win in Dallas this weekend? Is there one player that needs to step up most to make it happen?
DT: When the Dynamo play to their strengths they can beat any team in the league. Wilmer Cabrera has tried to over think games with his tactics when he needs to just let them do what they do best: apply a high press, utilize wide play with our speedy wingers, and keep running at the opponent. We’ve seen it work against some of the best in the league and we will give up goals in the process, but we will outscore them. Will it happen? I wouldn’t bet on it given the team’s current form, but they’re capable of it. Is there one player that needs to step up? Alberth Elis is the player that’s been in a slump and he’ll need to find his confidence up top to lead the way towards victory.
Lineup prediction: 4-3-3: Joe Willis; DaMacus Beasley, Philippe Senderos, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Andrew Wenger; Darwin Ceren, Tomas Martinez, Oscar Boniek Garcia; Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis