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Mar 28, 2008 

Despite Defections, It's Pretty Much The Same 'Ol Dynamo

Go-to-guy midfielder Dwayne De Rosario should lead the defending champs to the MLS Cup


2006 Record: 15-8-7, 52 points (2nd in Western Conference); MLS Cup Champions.
Head Coach: Dominic Kinnear.
In: Franco Caraccio, Tony Caig, Bobby Boswell.
Out: Nate Jaqua, Joseph Ngwenya, Ryan Cochrane (SJ), Paul Dalglish.

Starting Lineup: Pat Onstad; Wade Barrett, Eddie Robinson, Bobby Boswell, Craig Waibel; Brad Davis, Ricardo Clark, Dwayne De Rosario, Brian Mullan; Brian Ching, Chris Wondolowski.

Strengths: What can you say about the 2-time defending champs. They shun high-profile and costly players and still outshine the rest of the league for the last five years. Kinnear has built upon Frank Yallop's considerable success in San Jose and improved upon it. Goaltender Pat Onstad, despite his age, is still solid in net and benefits with a consistent backline.

Weaknesses: The forward position could become a problem with two defections to Austria and an unknown quantity in Wondolowski. Ching could also be missing from action periodically for World Cup qualifiers. This could put pressure on the Dynamo's most intriguing pickup, Argentine Caraccio, to perform quite early in the season.

Outlook: Houston's roster is so versatile with veterans at almost all positions and have role players like De Rosario, Mulrooney and Davis that envisioning a downfall from their form of the last two years is highly improbable. Watch out for Stuart Holden. He just may the breakout player of MLS this season, even while spending time in Beijing for the Olympics.

Prediction: 1st in Western Conference; Supporter's Shield winner.

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