Houston Dynamo FC: Must finish filling the formation for 2023

Houston Dynamo FC v FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo FC v FC Dallas / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Houston Dynamo FC finished this MLS regular season just a hair’s breadth from last place in the Western Conference. There’s no hint of a new plan for 2023.

Those supporters who stuck it out with Houston Dynamo FC until the bitter 2022 finish saw a few sparks of good play. This gave them brief hope.

But the Dynamo finish this season only barely out of last place in the MLS Western Division. There are no hints – not even a puff of a smoke signal – coming from the front office that there is any new plan to return this team to the post-season competition level that truly rewarded the faithful supporters.

In the 3-1 home finale loss to LA Galaxy, the Dynamo showed the supporters some of that hope in the first 31 minutes, as covered in Orange in the Oven. But then the visitors shut them down.

Several of interim head coach Kenny Bundy’s first games also showed hope – even a few victories.

The common factor is that even before Bundy took over, Dynamo personnel showed competitive spark mainly in the same formation. That is the 4-2-3-1.

MLS reported this starting formation for the Dynamo in their 3-1 loss to the Galaxy. However, it’s also the formation started in late-season wins against Los Angeles FC, New England, and Nashville. The Dynamo also finished with draws using the formation when facing Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids.

The star on top of that formation is striker Sebastian Ferreira. He’s the forward the Dynamo will have to continue building upon to get the team out of the murky depths of the MLS Western Conference. He played consistently while starting all but two of his 31 games. He netted 13 goals playing the one-spot in that formation.

But Ferreira is no one-man army. The Dynamo performed best when they enjoyed equally consistent production from the midfield and, at least, competent play by their defense.

When scouting reports come in, midfielder Corey Baird will be listed right after Ferreira in fighting for another Dynamo win. On the backline, left- and right-backs always get rated respectably. Those two are Adam Lundqvist and Griffin Dorsey.

Dynamo coaches are charged with fitting a formation to their roster’s talent. So the 4-2-3-1 is the best configuration for the players the team had ready for the pitch last regular season.

There’s no reason to abandon that formation. But the team must immediately seek and secure higher-caliber talent to join the players already performing competitively in that formation.

It won’t take many players. After that, Houston Dynamo FC will return to post-season competition.

But not before.