Houston hoping to rebound with reshuffled midfield
The Dynamo are facing four games in the next 13 days, so they're hopeful they can start this congested part of the schedule strong at home against Kansas City on Saturday.
But for Houston to get off to a good start, they will have to find a way to replace Geoff Cameron, who suffered a season-ending injury last weekend. It's likely that wide player Brad Davis will get first crack at replacing the attacking midfielder, but Richard Mulrooney could make a late push for consideration as he returns from injury.
“Most likely I’ll play in the middle this weekend,” Davis said. “I’ve played in there before, and there is a bit of an adjustment. We’ve had trouble in possession, and so hopefully that’s something I can bring to the table for the team. There will probably be an adjustment, but it hopefully won’t be too bad.”
Possession will be important for the Dynamo as Wizard’s head coach Peter Vermes has instilled a "defense-first" mentality that, similar to Houston, places an emphasis on pressuring the opposition.
“Kansas City is playing well and they are a very hungry and very confident team,” Dynamo head coach Kinnear said. “After watching them play against Seattle and LA the last couple of weeks, they play a high-tempo game and don’t give you much time on the ball, so it makes it difficult for us and our decisions have to be fast and confident.”
If Houston can maintain possession with their makeshift midfield against a stingy defensive team like Kansas City, they can be hopeful that Saturday's match will be the beginning of a good run for the team.
The Dynamo are also looking to bounce back from some recent patchy form that saw them fall 2-0 on the road to Chicago last weekend. The perennial championship favorites have now lost two of their last three games, as well as a key player in Cameron.
“We can’t have these up and down weeks like Chicago,” Davis said. “We want to start this weekend off on a good note, get three points as we play again Wednesday at home, and we want to have a good stretch of games.”
Kinnear agreed, though for now he's focused on Saturday's challenge.
“It’s the first of four in a short period of time,” he said. “We can’t look at the next three of four games, we have to look at one at a time—and if we do get off to a good start [against KC], it sets up nicely for the next couple of games coming our way.”