The Philadelphia Union take on the Houston Dynamo to open the 2011 MLS Season during MLS First Kick. SB Nation's Philadelphia Union blog, the Brotherly Game, has already previewed the day's event and has reviewed portions of the teams roster in advance of the first game and a preview for the team's entire season can be found on SB Nation Soccer. A game thread will be on the Brotherly Game tomorrow with commentary from readers and staff alike, and there will be updates for important events here.
Zach Woosley, of Dynamo Theory (SB Nation's Houston Dynamo blog), was kind enough to answer three questions about the Dynamo that Union fans should know:
With a large turnover, much like the Union, from last year's squad, what should the Union expect from the Dynamo in Saturday's game?
The Union are going to see a younger and more athletic Dynamo team compared to last year. There is more size and athleticism in the defense and depending on who Kinnear starts, potentially two offensive minded fullbacks that love to get forward. The Dynamo offense has looked more creative and more dangerous during the pre-season as well, so while goal scoring was a problem at times last season, things looks to be more promising this season. Most importantly, this Dynamo team is motivated, hungry and determined to prove that last season was a fluke.
In the Dynamo midfielder, besides Geoff Cameron, is Danny Cruz the player that Union fans should worry most about?
Brad Davis is the man that should strike fear in to Union fans. If Davis even gets close to scoring and generates assist at the rate he was during the pre-season, he's going to be MLS MVP. Davis drives the offense and provides problem for opposing defenses because you can't ignore him or he'll slice you up, but at the same time, you can't pay to much attention or the likes of Cameron will find space.
Can rookie striker Will Bruin make up for the hurt Brian Ching in what will potentially be his first ever professional start?
Yes, he absolutely can. Bruin has a nose for goal and the ability to find and create space for himself. There's going to be an adjustment period as he learns how to deal with the often overly physical defenses in MLS but there's no doubt in my mind he can make up for Ching being injured. Obviously you can't replace Ching's experience but Bruin is good enough, even as a rookie, to trouble defenses and force them to pay attention to him.