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Behind enemy lines: Scouting Houston Dynamo

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing result against the Los Angeles Galaxy in southern California last week, the Claret and Cobalt will look to rebound coming home. Back to the friendly confines of Rio Tinto stadium, where they are still unbeaten. Real will host the thus far lowly Houston Dynamo, who sit at the bottom of the league table with 5 points. Although their point total suggests they are a weak side, they have a goal difference of only -1 showing they can hang compete with anyone.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports


In goal for the Dynamo will be the 6'5" Joe Willis. Up to this point in his career, Willis had spent most of his MLS career being Bill Hamid's backup in D.C. Since being traded to Houston at the end of 2014, Willis has seemingly displaced last year's starter Tyler Deric based on number of starts this season. Deric will miss out regardless due to the red card he received last week against Columbus. The 27 year old Willis will be motivated to keep Deric out of the lineup beyond this week and help the Dynamo secure an away result.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports


The name that most Americans will find familiar is DaMarcus Beasley, featuring on the left flank of the Houston back four. The former United States international member has a multitude of experience being in an elite club of players who have appeared in three different World Cups for their country. The center of defense will feature MLS newbie Agus partnered by fellow Spanish compatriot Raul Rodriguez. Agus will be an interesting name to look out for, as he spent years with Real Madrid's B team. Houston will have a choice between Jalil Anibaba or Sheanon Williams on the right side to round out their defensive line.

MLS: Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


If last week's match against Columbus is anything to go by, the Dynamo will sport a 4-3-3 formation. They will look to get forward and track back into a 4-5-1 on defense. The Dynamo's midfield also features a 2010 United States World Cup veteran in Ricardo Clark. Clark is extremely versatile and can play any role in the middle of the park a la Jermaine Jones. Clark will likely be partnered by Brazilian midfielder Alex along with Cristian Maidana as the "No. 10" playmaker from the midfield.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Houston have both flair and grit in their forward positions with Giles Barnes and Will Bruin respectively. Barnes came up through the ranks in England at the club level before arriving in Houston in 2012. Since then he has gone on to represent Jamaica, helping their team eliminate USA from last summer's Gold Cup. While Bruin has a proven MLS goal scoring record, nearly accumulating 50 goals at 26 years old. Either Barnes or Bruin could start as forwards. Andrew Wenger and Boniek Garcia will likely feature on the wings to support the front man. Last but not least could be an MLS sleeping giant. Erick "Cubo" Torres is still stashed away on the Houston bench and showed with Chivas USA, he knows how to find the back of the net.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports