Tough choices ahead as roster rounds into shape

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Photo Credit: 
Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

HOUSTON – For the first time this season head coach Dominic Kinnear will have his full complement of players to choose from when his club faces the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium. That could be as much a burden as it is a blessing when it comes to picking a starting lineup.

The international contingent of Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis and Jermaine Taylor is back and the injury core is restricted to just Kofi Sarkodie, who participated Friday’s training but is listed as questionable with a concussion. In addition, Omar Cummings and Cam Weaver have made it back to fitness.

“It’s something great to have and it’s something we plan for to have a good squad of players to create these problems,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “When everyone’s healthy it makes our team better and my job a little more difficult.”

Making matters more difficult is players such as Giles Barnes, Andrew Driver and Warren Creavalle (pictured, above), who have all stepped up to contribute big minutes and three goals between them.

"It confirmed what we knew already which is that we have a deep squad,” Kinnear said. “When guys are going to be missing, you miss those guys but there’s nothing you can do about it or worry about it.”

Also, Kinnear will have to take into account things such as form and fatigue, especially for players such as his internationals that have logged a lot of minutes in a short span of time.

"You can’t ever really say ‘this is my 11’ because rarely does it ever work out that way,” Kinnear continued. “You really have to go with what your best 11 is on that day.”

Whoever gets the call will have to face an Earthquakes squad that has the same physical, play to the whistle mentality. That plus dealing with the always dangerous league MVP Chris Wondolowski will provide a stiff test for the Dynamo as they seek to tie Real Salt Lake's home unbeaten mark of 34.

READ: Dynamo looking to maintain shutout streak vs. Wondo

Regardless of who is on the pitch for opening kick, the Dynamo have confidence they will get the job done.

“It’s great for us to have a full squad. For Dom it’s not so great because he’s got to make some tough decisions,” said Brad Davis. “We’ve got a great locker room here. Guys respect each other and the success we’ve had in the past is because we have a tight-knit group here.

“As players we know that no matter who he puts on the field the guy next to us is going to be there to help us out.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DarrellLovell.