2017 has not been kind to the Earthquakes when facing the Houston Dynamo. In two league games in Houston, the Quakes have been outscored 5-0 and Houston has reaped six points. Things might change tonight as Houston make their first and only appearance at Avaya Stadium.
A Dynamo win would almost guarantee Houston a playoff spot. A loss would require the Quakes to win their three remaining home games and win in D.C. to have any chance at a playoff berth. Fortunately for San Jose, Houston has just one road win and eight road losses all season, while the Quakes have seven home wins and just one home loss.
Houston should start a 4-3-3 with Alberth Elis and Cubo Torres in the central and right forward positions for Houston. Vicente Sanchez should see the start over Mauro Manotas on the left side. In the midfield, Alex, Ricardo Clark, and Boniek Garcia (all familiar names for Quakes fans) should start in the midfield with A.J. DeLaGarza and DaMarcus Beasley as the fullbacks, Leonardo and Adolfo Machado as the center-backs, and Tyler Deric in goal.
The Quakes will probably feature the 3-5-2 with Andres Imperiale, Victor Bernardez, and Flo Jungwirth on the backline. Shea Salinas and Nick Lima should feature as the wing-backs with Anibal Godoy playing the central defensive mid. Expect Tommy Thompson and Vako to start in the midfield for the attack, with Marco Urena and Chris Wondolowski as the two forwards. (Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Hyka start over Tommy) If history is any indication with Chris Leitch, Andrew Tarbell should start in goal over David Bingham.
On the one hand, Houston has San Jose’s number: 2 wins, 5-0 aggregate scoreline. On the other hand, Houston is poor on the road, and the Quakes play well at home. With the Quakes in a “must-win” game, expect the Quakes to take advantage of a poor Houston road team and win 2-1.