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RSL vs. Houston Dynamo: Three Questions with Dynamo Theory

We’re talking with the experts on Saturday’s opponents.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

RSL Soapbox) So what really happened with Cubo Torres? Was he not a good fit? Was his departure a product of a bad fit? What?

Dynamo Theory) It is several things. Early in his time in Houston there was simply a logjam of forwards with Will Bruin, Giles Barnes, Andrew Wenger, Mauro Manotas, and then Cubo. Wenger’s versatility and contributions on defense gave him minutes as he played in the midfield as a winger. Bruin and Barnes were both fairly established and favorites of Owen Coyle and Wade Barrett. Then there’s Manotas who outcompeted Cubo in preseason and with minutes given. Cubo’s availability hasn’t helped either as he’s been called up to the Mexican U-23 team at times when he could be given minutes in Houston and therefore a chance to earn playing time.

To be fair, in a lot of ways Cubo was never given much of a shot (largely for the reasons above). To be fairer, he never shined in the minutes he was given, but a lot of that is a product of a system that became more defensively oriented. Why Cubo was loaned out to Cruz Azul definitely signaled that it was time to move on even though we only have 2 strikers on the roster (3 if you count Wenger, but apparently Wade Barrett will not play him in a striker role).

Cubo could have been a great fit working alongside either Bruin or Manotas, but a 2 striker system isn’t something Barrett cares for so he wasn’t a good fit.

RSL Soapbox) Will Bruin seemed to be a revelation not long ago, but has really slowed down this season. Do you foresee him sticking around Houston? Are any fans concerned about him leaving?

Dynamo Theory) I think he’ll stick around Houston for the time being as we only have anywhere between 2 and 3 forwards on the roster – depending on who you ask. Obviously that could change in the offseason, but I think he stays put until I see something materializes. As to why he’s slowed down, a big reason for that is the lack of support he, and other lone forwards, have seen essentially since our “red hot start” to the season.

RSL Soapbox) Teams lower in the standings seem to sneak up on RSL at times. What will it take for the Dynamo to beat RSL this time?

Dynamo Theory) For the Dynamo to do well against RSL – and any team really – they need to apply pressure higher up the field and the midfielders need to move into the offense much faster to support the center forward. If they can do that they can score goals. I just hope they don’t do that and then sit in, as they’ve been known to do, which invites opponents back into games. So they’ll need to take risks and not fall into bad habits if they do take a lead.

The answers from RSL Soapbox can be found on Dynamo Theory’s page.