What is it about interim head coach Kenny Bundy that has the Houston Dynamo FC performing better?
The go-to formations don’t look different. It’s the same roster. Yet interim head coach Kenny Bundy has Houston Dynamo FC players looking sharper on the pitch whether it's win, lose, or draw.
Bundy got the reins for the last five matches of a bottom-tier Houston club in the MLS Western Conference. Despite being officially eliminated from post-season play, the interim chef’s strategy got the team to crawl up above San Jose in the standings. So they’re no longer at the absolute bottom of the heap.
Whatever Kenny Bundy has should gain him consideration for taking the club helm next season.
What makes Bundy go?
But just what does Bundy have that makes Houston Dynamo FC better?
You find the first clue by searching out what kind of player he was. He got the most attention as a midfielder for the Wilmington Hammerheads of the Premier Development League.
The team no longer plays. But back in 2009, this team from a lower-tier league worked its way into the U.S. Open Cup. They made it to the third round, matched against MLS representative Chicago Fire.
Fire players had already established their team as one of the most successful competitors in U.S. Open Cup, winning 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. The Fire and seven other MLS got a bye into the third round.
The Hammerheads withstood 15 shots by the fire throughout the match. But it was the 37th minute that mattered, as midfielder Bundy grabbed a pass and worked it around the Fire’s goalkeeper for the only score.
ESPN responded with the post, while the Wilmington StarNews focused first on their hometown team stunning the Fire. Then they got to Bundy’s feat and the fact that this was only the second time the team had bested an MLS side.
That 2009 regular season he played 20 games, 1,369 minutes, scoring four goals and six assists.
That was the last year he took the field as a player. But the next year, he returned to the pitch as assistant coach of University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He had moonlighted in 2009 as a volunteer assistant.
That season the Seahawks won their first Colonial Athletic Association championship and played through the NCAA tournament second round.
Kenny Bundy proved early that he can communicate and coach the kind of soccer he executed to players on the field. This extraordinary talent spanned his entire coaching career. That includes his progression through the Houston Dynamo Academy system and as Houston Dynamo 2 head coach.
He’s been in the organization since 2016.
Now, as interim head coach, he’s shown Houston Dynamo FC players they can keep up with the rest of the MLS, and sometimes beat them, by not beating themselves and by playing at their best level every minute.
Kenny Bundy has earned consideration as the next Dynamo head coach.
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