Houston Dynamo welcome first-choice defense back against Montreal Impact

Backline will be tested against a powerful Montreal attack

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USA Today Sports Images

A month of injuries has made it impossible for the Houston Dynamo’s first-choice back line to be on the field at the same time.

But with the group finally healthy, the club’s first-choice group of Corey Ashe, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor and Kofi Sarkodie is expected to start when the Dynamo travel to Montreal to take on the surging Impact on Wednesday (7 pm CT; CSN Plus, MLS Live).

The Dynamo are 5-4-1 when their first-choice backline starts, but one defender left the game early due to injury or ejection in all four losses.

Boswell (above), who will make his first appearance after serving a two-game suspension, said the group needs to be unified to somehow stop the Impact, whose 14 goals at home are second in the league this season behind Vancouver (15).

“If we’re doing our job defensively and organizing and staying in shape and making sure guys are in the right spots,” Boswell said of the keys to stopping Montreal. “Part of that is making sure guys are in the right spot when the ball turns over.”

FULL MATCH PREVIEW: Dynamo hit the road to clash with Impact

Back together, they’ll have to stay organized and together if they plan to stop Impact striker Marco Di Vaio, second in the league this season with nine goals.

“The guy’s scoring goals for fun,” Ashe said. “Di Vaio’s the kind of player that’ll lull you to sleep and before you know it they hit a long pass to him and he’s through. He didn’t score last week vs. Columbus so you have to figure he’s going to be a little hungry.”

The Dynamo plan to deal with the Impact’s quick-strike attack by going back to something they preach day-in-and-day-out: response time after a turnover. It’s a trait the team looks to take into every game, but it’s at a higher premium against a counterattacking team like Montreal.

“They have a lot of talented players and a lot of threats offensively,” Ashe said. “We have to come out with the right attitude. If we come out slow they’ll punish us. It’s just staying focused and going out there and dictating the game and trying to walk away with three points.”

It’s unclear if US international Brad Davis will appear at all for the Dynamo after he logged 16 minutes off the bench during the Americans’ 1-0 win over Honduras on Tuesday night in Sandy, Utah. Midfielder Boniek García is also questionable after his brief appearance off the bench for Los Catrachos.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.