Houston’s mid-week personnel choices paying dividends now

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Dominic Kinnear’s choice to call heavily on his bench in midweek is about to pay significant dividends.

Houston had a big opportunity Thursday in CONCACAF Champions League, and did indeed take big advantage. They got the result (a 4-0 win over El Salvador’s FAS), but the “how” soon became equally as critical as the “what.”

The Dynamo controlled things comfortably while using four current starters – or maybe five, depending on how you count Adam Moffat and Brian Ching these days. That was a critical coaching staff choice, because the Dynamo had another kickoff just three days later.

That one is this afternoon against Philadelphia at PPL Park. And if they slip any more, Columbus will be there to pounce. (No, the Crew is not doing much pouncing at the moment, but it hasn’t been much of a pounce-friendly schedule beyond the midweek contest against Chivas USA.)

Dynamo regulars Jermaine Taylor, Luiz Camargo, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin and Macoumba Kandji should be fresh for today’s 4 p.m. kickoff in Chester. (Taylor is questionable with a quad injury.)

(By the way, it’s high time for some of the “fresh” to turn into better production. Boniek Garcia hasn’t quite turned his talent into enough dynamic nights out. Camargo still doesn’t do enough for me, and never has. Kandji still doesn’t finish reliably enough. So, all that …)

Philadelphia also played in mid-week, losing at home to D.C. United on Thursday. But not traveling, and getting to play at home makes a big difference. So even though John Hackworth used his top selections, he can feel OK about getting a little more from the same performers if he goes that way.