Houston and D.C. will be battling it out again in 2013. (Getty Images)

Houston and D.C. will be battling it out again in 2013. (Getty Images)

I’m trying to push through as many preseason pieces this week as possible. Second of the day in the What’s Lacking series that looks at pieces that are missing with each MLS side in the preseason.

Earlier in the day I looked at the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew. Sticking with the Eastern Conference, time to look at two clubs that reached the conference finals in 2012, the Houston Dynamo and D.C. United.

D.C. United

- Scoring up front. They got some guys coming off injuries (Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario) and a newcomer in DP Rafael. But they still feel like they are lacking one more scoring threat up front. Lionard Pajoy has to come through in a bigger way this season or else there will be some holes up front for Ben Olsen to fill.

- The Najar of it all. Is he going or will he be back? Something we’ll find out before the season starts but let’s play the if he goes game for a moment. That is a big void on the wings for United, both in defense and in the attack. They took Taylor Kemp in the draft last week and that may be good enough for depth but something tells me they’ll still need more bodies on the wings in 2013.

- Depth in defense. If I am Ben Olsen, the next big(ish) move I make this winter is adding some depth in the back. It doesn’t need to be a big name right off the bat but currently United is a little thin in defense. I’d love to see them get another quality center back. In a league where defense wins, you can never have enough quality in the back.

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Houston Dynamo

- Outside depth. They look loaded up top with the likes of Omar Cummings, Will Bruin, Cam Weaver, Bring Ching and rookie Jason Johnson. But the Dynamo need some depth in the midfield on the flanks. Dominic Kinnear knows it will be another busy schedule in 2013 and that getting Brad Davis, Oscar Boneik Garcia and others rest at certain moments will be key.

- Depth in the back. This is a fairly common theme with the Dynamo in 2013. They need depth all over but in defense for sure. Losing Andre Hainault in the offseason was big, maybe even bigger than most will be willing to admit. Adding Eric Brunner was good and drafting Jimmy Nealis was crafty by Kinnear but at the end of it all, they still need more bodies in the back. Maybe he will convert another midfielder to defense like he did with Corey Ashe.