It has become the “dog fight” that we thought it would in the Eastern Conference for playoff spots as the Dynamo take on Chicago tonight at 6pm on Galavision from Toyota Park.
Here is what the standings look like and bear in mind that you want to one of the top three spots out of five in the playoffs to avoid a one game playoff between number four and five.
Sporting KC 50 pts
DC UTD 41
The Dynamo with a result can keep pace with Sporting and NYRB. The teams have met twice with both games ending in a draw.
FIRE: They are coming off a 4-2 loss at DC United where they look dis-organized, gave up poor goals and struggled to keep position.
The team shape of the squad was very suspect and Sean Johnson looked a bit shaky in goal in this match.
“It was the worst we played all season,” said former German international Arne Friedrich.
Chicago also this week transferred the dangerous Marco Pappa, a Guatemalan international to Herenveen in the Netherlands so this is interesting at this stage of the year. A dangerous dynamic is gone which means more pressure on a banged up Patrick Nyarko to produce along with new signings Sherjill MacDonald from the Netherlands, Alvaro Fernandez from Seattle.
Chris Rolfe must bring the creative element also at home where one expects the Fire to bring some energy early which lacked at DC.
MacDonald is an interesting striker and can hold off defenders and in combination with the movement and smarts of Rolfe could be a dangerous pairing if in fact Nyarko is bringing penetration out wide.
Might look like this:
Defenders: Segares, Berry, Friedrich, Annibaba
Mid: Paladini or Pause, Pardo, Nyarko, Fernandez
For: Rolfe, MacDonald
The Dynamo have gotten the results they wanted in Central America and it will be interesting to see who Dominic Kinnear puts out tonight.
Brad Davis will return to the lineup as could Ricardo Clark to bolster the midfield which now has wonderful depth as exemplified as of late.
How does the Dynamo 4-3-3 match up against Chicago who will trot out a 4-4-2? Essentially on the road the defensive position is a 4-5-1 which helps to win midfield but the Dynamo have also the capability of pushing their wide players higher up the field.
Calen Carr is questionable against his former team. Could Boniek Garcia be moved wide to make way for Moffat and Clark to be on the field at the same time central in midfield?
Boniek Garcia has logged alot of minutes and will be going off to World Cup qualifying duty.
Could we see this:
Ashe, Boswell, Taylor, Hainault
Davis, Moffat, Clark
Boniek Garcia, Bruin, Kandji
This should be an interesting match and the Dynamo will then turn around to take on RSL on Thursday.
Couple of late transfers stuck out to me this past week:
CHARLIE ADAM Liverpool to Stoke- Geoff Cameron you just got a new teammate. Adam thrust right into the lineup under Tony Pulis yesterday in Stoke 2-2 draw at Wigan.
CLINT DEMPSEY Fulham to Tottenham- Liverpool and Sunderland were the talk but in the end the deuce heads to Spurs to play under AVB. Interesting!
DIMITAR BERBATOV- Manchester United to Fulham, Dima to fill the role of the “deuce”. Ironically Dempsey goes to Berbatov former club Spurs.
CARLOS BOCANEGRA from Rangers to Racing Santander, nice move for Bocanegra to get out of “Rangerland”.
NIGEL DE JONG-Man City to Milan, hatchet man on to Milan.
GIO DOS SANTOS-Tottenham to Mallorca, finally out of Spurs jail is Gio who goes to the league he should have remained in. Get that club career going Gio.
MICHAEL ESSIEN-Chelsea to Real Madrid, re-union between “special one” and Essien.
JAVI GARCIA from Benfica to Man City
RAFAEL van der Vart from Tottenham to Hamburg, Bundesliga here I come.
What transfers intrigue you and who will produce the most?
The Longhorn Network is now available in ATT cable systems.
Have the call today on UT/New Mexico at 1pm and then will get back to Houston to catch the Dynamo and Chicago on tv.
Friday night thoroughly impressed by the way Virginia and UT played with the emphasis on soccer and not purely athleticism.
UT drew close to 2000 fans with Virginia clearly the better team in a 3-0 win.