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The Stampede: 3 Questions with Dynamo Theory

Do we really need to fear Andrew Wenger now? Really?

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dynamo might be good again. How did this happen? Our friends at Dynamo Theory have some thoughts:

1. The Houston Dynamo are in their 2nd year under manager Owen Coyle. What kind of changes has Coyle made to make this team different from the one he inherited in his first year?

In Coyle’s first year, he was able to determine which players fit his schemes and which do not. Coyle re-signed several players like Will Bruin, Ricardo Clark, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes, and Tyler Deric, but we also saw sweeping changes. Coyle and team General Manager Matt Jordan brought in 11 new players and saw 10 players depart including Dynamo legend Brad Davis.

Coyle has shaped his squad and quickly developed an attacking oriented style that’s productive on both ends of the field. The preferred 4-2-3-1 formation that Coyle has utilized has been wildly successful as we’ve seen the club notch 8 goals in just 2 games. Last year the team’s identity was confused and the players were often frustrated. This year, excitement and optimism has taken over and everyone seems to be willing to contribute on both sides of the ball. A lot of that has to do with the skill set of two new players the Dynamo signed in the offseason. Cristian Maidana provides a true playmaking role, one that the Dynamo haven’t seen since Dwayne De Rosario and Stuart Holden. Andrew Wenger has thrived in his role on the wings and he’s been successful creating opportunities for himself and others while hustling back to defend deep in the Dynamo half.

2. For fans that are not familiar with the Dynamo, who are some players that they should keep an eye on?

Andrew Wenger. He’s got 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 games and has been a part of half of all goals the Dynamo scored this year. He’s incredibly quick, strong in the air and on the ball, is a gifted passer and shooter, and has a very high defensive work rate. He’s finally been given a role to thrive in and he’s living up to that represented by his current status as the MLS Player of the Week due to his 1 goal and 2 assist performance against FC Dallas. Apart from him, injuries should keep Maidana and Barnes out, but Will Bruin is always a threat up top. One matchup that I’m very interested in seeing is Ricardo Clark vs. Dax McCarty. The two both provide defensive midfield cover and both have vision up the field. Expect a physical battle there.

3. If you had to game plan a way to stop the Dynamo, how would you stop them?

With Barnes and Maidana likely not featuring the club’s offensive potency and creativity will be weakened. That should give the defense a bit of confidence and allow players like Bruin and Wenger to be marked at all times. However, there are plenty of other offensive tools the Dynamo have that will feature in the lineup and on the bench so don’t sleep on them. Taking advantage of the right wing (or the Dynamo’s left) where Leonel Miranda is expected to play will be key for the Red Bulls. Miranda typically doesn’t defend as deep which could be a place for RBNY to exploit space and create chances. 

Prediction: 2-2 draw.

The Dynamo don’t do well at Red Bull Arena, but I think we have a lot of confidence moving into this match. It ends in a nail bitter with one team spoiling the other from getting 3 points.

Lineup: (4-2-3-1): Joe Willis; DaMarcus Beasley, Raul Rodriguez, David Horst, Sheanon Williams; Alex Lima, Ricardo Clark; Leonel Miranda, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Andrew Wenger, Will Bruin.

Over at Dynamo Theory, you can read the OaM response to their questions about RBNY.