US OPEN CUP
Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup vs Inter Miami in the US Open Cup 2023 final
The 2018 winners travel to Florida and may well have to stop Lionel Messi to get their hands back on the trophy.
The US Open Cup final between Inter Miami and Houston Dynamo takes place at DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday (27 September) and the eyes of the world will inevitably be on Lionel Messi, David Beckham and Co as they look to win their second trophy in just over a month. “Will Messi be fit to play?” is the question on everybody lips, but relatively few, by comparison, are talking about the Texans, which will suit them down to the ground.
Ben Olsen’s side have comfortably outperformed their upcoming opponents over the course of 2023, although we clearly can’t forget that The Herons are a completely different team since Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets moved to Florida in the summer.
Where are The Dynamo and Inter Miami in the overall MLS standings?
Despite their significant upturn in fortunes, Inter Miami are still second bottom of the MLS’ Eastern Conference and face an uphill battle to qualify for the wildcard round of the end-of-season MLS Cup Playoffs. The Dynamo, meanwhile, are in fourth spot of the Western Conference and in a good position to directly qualify for Round One of the Playoffs. El Naranja have gathered 43 points from their 30 MLS fixtures so far, leaving them 11th in the overall standings, while the Florida side’s 32 points from 29 matches have them all the way down in 27th.
Messi’s goalscoring dip, Houston’s good run
While Inter Miami are fortunate enough to have home advantage (which was determined by a random draw), The Dynamo will be encouraged by the fact that Messi, Alba and Busquets have been struggling for fitness, while the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored just two goals in his last five matches for his “new” club, compared to 10 in seven prior to that.
The Herons have won five and drawn one of their last six matches at home (including three 4-0 wins), but Olsen’s men have been in fine form of late themselves. A weekend defeat to Sporting Kansas City ended a run of seven matches unbeaten, while they have lost only two of their last 11 games in all competitions.
Amine Bassi the main fitness doubt
Defender Tate Schmitt and attacker Ifunanyachi Achara are both expected to miss out once again due to knee injuries. The main fitness doubt is midfielder Amine Bassi, who will almost certainly start if available but has been carrying a “lower body injury”. Mexican anchor man Héctor Herrera captains the side and will feature in the engine room.
Houston Dynamo’s possible starting XI vs Inter Miami
Olsen has made considerable changes to his starting line-up from one match to the next in recent times, although he has mainly used a 4-2-3-1 system.
Clark (GK); Dorsey, Sviatchenko, Micael, Smith; Caicedo, Herrera; Carasquilla, Bassi, Quiñones; Baird.