1) How have the Dynamo been adjusting to life without Brad Davis during the World Cup?
About as well as Sporting Kansas City have adjusted to life without Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. We're missing our two best offensive creators in Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia, who are with their respective national teams for the World Cup. Without either of them, the team has struggled to find the net, scoring zero goals in their last 3 matches.
I think that last line pretty well sums it up.
2) Two-Part Question: What is up with the Houston defense this year? They've allowed 27 goals to lead the league yet are currently fourth in the East, how are the Dynamo overcoming the defensive lapses?
Of the 27 goals they've allowed, the vast majority are away from home. The team, as is the case with most MLS clubs, just simply sucks on the road. Goal differential at home is +1. Goal differential away is -12. And the defensive issues aren't just one specific thing. Some of it is related to mental lapses at key moments, and some of it is related to a lack of hustle. Then there are the silly fouls and red cards, and really we shouldn't ignore the injury bug which has plagued the Dynamo this season.
I don't think the team is really overcoming the lapses as much as they are just simply surviving them right now. When the starting eleven are on the pitch, which has happened a grand total of twice this season thus far, they are an absolute force not just offensively but also defensively. Still, as I've said they've managed to survive. I don't
know for how long they'll be able to survive, but if they can get Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia back from World Cup and hopefully return a healthy Ricardo Clark to the lineup I believe they stand a chance to once again slip into the play in match in 4th or 5th place.
3) What's the status update on Ricardo Clark? If he's not available this Friday, how will the Dynamo adjust?
Concussion. He's out. Indefinitely. And I don't expect him back for months. He is enduring the same type of concussion that Calen Carr battled through when he came over from Chicago Fire. That concussion sidelined Carr for more than a year, and Clark is a shade older than Carr was at the time. Can Clark bounce back? Yes. Will he? I'm not optimistic, and it is a shame because he pulls such a large salary budget figure that replacing him is out of the question until the offseason.