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Pregame 19: Crew @ Dynamo

August 2, 2008

The Crew are looking to continue their luck on the road, but will have to put in a better performance (except Hesmer) than last Sunday against the Rapids. Brian Ching is going to finish off a header better than Conor Casey did and the Houston wings are perhaps even better than the pair of Rapids that gave the Crew some trouble, but DeRosario is out with a suspension and Stuart Holden and Patrick Ianni are with the Olympic team.

The Crew are facing a personnel shortage as well. Rogers and Ekpo are at the Olympics and Hejduk and Lenhart are serving suspensions. This will mean there is some lineup juggling again. I would not be surprised to see either a 3-5-2 or the usual 4-5-1. Houston announcer Glenn Davis suspects the latter.

A 4-5-1 aligned Crew may line up something like this:







Elenio could start if Evans is not fit.

I hope that we do not roll out the 3-5-2 from last week. I think the dangerous wingers from Houston can expose the seams in the defense. The 4-5-1 can cover for those deficiencies a little better. That alignment would also allow for Iro and Marshall to focus on the two tall Houston strikers. Evans and Gaven would be more free to push up into the attack with dedicated defenders behind them. Carroll and Miglioranzi would be better situated to control the middle of the park and start counterattacks.

The bulk of the offense would fall to Schelotto and Moreno. Schelotto will have a tough time against Ricardo Clark, but he is a craft veteran and will have his opportunities to spark the offense. Moreno is going up against his old team and should be fired up to wreak offensive havoc. The Houston is pretty talented, but Bobby Boswell can be prone to mistakes and will be paired with rookie Geoff Cameron. The Crew will have to take advantage of these weaknesses as this looks to be a tight game.

Given the heat, the field, and the depleted squads on both sided, I expect the game to be a little sloppy and fatigue to take it’s toll. A goal for each and the Crew heads into their break with a point.

Crew 1 – Dynamo 1

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