Revolution vs. Dynamo 2014: Know Thy Enemy

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation 2014 MLS preview

CAN YOU FEEL IT?! The 2014 MLS season has begun, and the New England Revolution are set to face off against the Houston Dynamo in Texas. Today, to get a look at the enemy, we spoke with Sean Ringrose of Dynamo Theory, SB Nation's Houston Dynamo blog. Head over to Dynamo Theory for their response interview where we discuss Jossimar Sanchez, Andrew Farrell's injury and Teal Bunbury.

TBM: Losing Ching to retirement is a symbolic blow for the club, but sending Bobby Boswell out of Houston seems to be the single biggest knock the club has taken this offseason. How do the Dynamo expect to replace his consistent quality in the back?

SR: The irony in your question makes me chuckle. If you ask any Houston Dynamo fan who followed the team closely in 2013, they'll openly tell you Boswell might have been a bigger liability by the end of the season than most would think. While he was a veteran leader, and his presence in that arena will be missed, he is old and slowing tremendously.

Losing that lack of recovery speed doesn't hurt us, it only helps us. Especially since vocal leadership isn't something the Dynamo struggle with (look at the end of the Montreal playoff match in Houston and watch Corey Ashe). In the end, I think it will actually be a win for the club, by replacing Boswell with David Horst, which is younger, taller, more agile, and nearly as sound defensively.

TBM: Which newcomer do you think will have the biggest impact in this game, if any? What about this season?

SR: None of the rookies will have an impact in this match. However, David Horst has arrived to Houston from Portland, and has a certainly aerial quality we have been lacking. If Horst has a good match, he will start going forward, and he will be a consistent center back for the club.

TBM: Your colleague Richard Willis seems to believe that Will Bruin will bounce back after a disappointing 2013. Do you share his confidence?

SR: I wouldn't take much stock in what Richard had to say about Bruin. Bruin is a bumbling, two left feet forward who has shown he has the mental fortitude of a pane of glass. While he has the raw talent to be superb, he has yet to translate that into on-field quality with the ball. If I had the classify Bruin, he is a poacher and not much beyond that. Sure, he may link up in the attack, but it isn't often, and don't expect him to win over the top balls...

TBM: Give us an under-the-radar player that Revs fans should watch out for in this match.

SR: Tony Cascio came over from Colorado Rapids, and he has been on an absolute tear through the preseason. He can play out wide or even in the middle, and he has pace and an adept touch that allows him to take defenders on one v one. He can serve the ball in, and his confidence is through the roof. He should start, and as such, don't be surprised to see him nab a goal or assist.

TBM: Finally, let's have your projected starting XI and a scoreline prediction.

SR: Hall; Ashe, Horst, Taylor, Sarkodie; Cascio, Davis, Clark, Garcia; Barnes, Bruin

Scoreline: 2-0 Houston Dynamo over New England Revolution with Dimitry Imbongo netting a red card by halftime if he starts.

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