Originally written on Total MLS  |  Last updated 11/15/14

After four matches in eleven days the Dynamo got a much needed week off and now return home to BBVA Compass Stadium to host the Los Angeles Galaxy in a rematch of last season’s MLS Cup Final. This match will be the Dynamo’s first of three in six days with an Open Cup match and a friendly both scheduled for next week.

The big news surrounding this match is who won’t be playing. With the international season getting under way players are called to camps and friendly matches. Both the Dynamo and Galaxy will be hampered by key players being out. For Houston, center back Geoff Cameron will miss the match having been named to the United States squad set to play Scotland on Saturday night. The US will also play two more friendlies and their first two World Cup qualifiers with this team. Galaxy captain Landon Donovan was also named to this team alongside Cameron and will not be at BBVA Compass Stadium. Forward Robbie Keane will also miss Saturday’s match as he is training with the Irish national team ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament.

With Keane and Donovan out the Galaxy offense takes a big hit and the loss of Cameron doesn’t hurt as bad. Andre Hainault will likely move to center back alongside Bobby Boswell. Jermaine Taylor and Corey Ashe will start on the outside. While Donovan and Keane won’t be in Houston, David Beckham will and the defense will have to stay alert at times. While Beckham is no spring chicken he can still distribute crosses and pick out players getting forward with the best of them. We know his prowess on free kicks so allowing free kicks anywhere near the box will need to be avoided.

The Dynamo broke out of their scoring doldrums with two goals at New England last week and will look to keep it going against a suspect Galaxy defense. The Galaxy have not been able to fill the hole left by the loss of defender Omar Gonzalez to a torn ACL in the preseason. They let a second half 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 loss on Wednesday at home against San Jose and the Dynamo will look to exploit this weakness. I’d look for Brad Davis to drift more centrally and use Brian Ching and Will Bruin to create goals and also set up the central midfielders. Beckham is still a force offensively but if we can get him running back on defense, he won’t last long in the heat of a midday game.

The weather will definitely play a key in this game. Saturday’s forecast calls for a high temperature of 90 degrees but it will feel much hotter inside BBVA Compass Stadium. With the game kicking off at 1:30 the sun will be shining down directly on the field and players’ fitness will be tested.  For a lineup prediction I’ll say Hall; Taylor, Hainault, Boswell, Ashe; Carr, Moffat, Camargo, Davis; Bruin, Ching. As far as a prediction for the game, we should win this. The Galaxy are struggling and will be dangerous as they must turn their season around but with the home field advantage I’ll take Houston 3-1.

(image courtesy of Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo)

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