Derek Stowers, who is the co-editor over at Dynamo Theory, was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about what to expect from the Houston Dynamo prior to tonight's game. He also gave us some info on the Dynamo back in April just before the Dynamo and Loons battled to a 2-2 draw in Houston.
So, first of all, why did you guys have to sign a young DP right before playing Minnesota United? In all seriousness, can you tell us a bit about Tomas Martinez and how he will fit into Houston's lineup moving forward?
Wilmer Cabrera has been after a number 10 for awhile now and although Alex has done a good job in an unrestricted free roaming role from left midfield (seriously in the formation he’s an LM, but he goes wherever he wants), at times – specifically on the road - he struggles.
Having a natural playmaker linking up with the forwards will help the club continue its “offense first” agenda by creating more even more chances.
Martinez himself is a skilled dribbler and possesses an excellent vision for passing. He’s not a selfish player either, which our forwards will appreciate, but he can strike a ball accurately from distance. Martinez will likely make his first appearance when the Dynamo come home to play the Portland Timbers July 29th which will give him time to acclimate himself to Cabrera’s style of play.
It seems as though Houston is currently being plagued by injuries and Gold Cup call-ups. Without the likes of Romell Quioto, Erick Torres, and Alberth Elis, which players will need to step up in order for Houston to get their first road win of the year?
Everyone will have to step up their game to make up for the loss of those three players, but the one who will have to pull the most weight will be Mauro Manotas. Manotas is third in scoring for the Dynamo, just one goal behind Alberth Elis, and will likely lead the line as our center forward. Andrew Wenger is likely to start on the wing and the other wing player could be Vicente Sanchez OR it could be Alex which could mean a start for one of our homegrown players in Memo Rodriguez. Memo has impressed in his late game appearances and even smashed a goal from outside the 18-yard box in our win over the Montreal Impact.
Who has been the team's MVP for the first half of the year?
The easiest answer would be Cubo Torres. Third in the league in scoring would definitely position one for that kind of accolade, however, I think Alex has been the most important player for the Dynamo which would make him the MVP. In his role, he’s been the guy that sets up our forwards and has been able to score himself. He fights hard and presses high up the pitch so if I were to give the MVP award to anyone it would be him so far. But I think Alex’s success is really a product of Cabrera’s system which is why, even as my midseason MVP, he should be replaced by Martinez.
Last time these two teams battled to a 2-2 draw in Houston. What's your prediction for Wednesday night's contest?
It’s tempting to hope the Dynamo pull off a win here and while I have a lot of confidence in Mauro Manotas, I think “road form Dynamo” shows up and we concede to an MNUFC side that is motivated to get a win. 2-2 draw again.
Alright, there you have it, folks! I’d like to thank Derek again for taking the time to answer our questions. I’m sure we’ll do a question exchange again in the near future as MNUFC will play in Houston in late September.