Houston Dynamo; stuck in rebuild mode
By Louis Roesch
For nearly a decade now, the Houston Dynamo have been in a continuous flux of change. As the 2023 season nears, it doesn't appear that much has changed. Houston is on its third general manager, their fifth head coach not counting interims and another roster rebuild. What are we wishing for come the New Year?
Houston has had really just one season that they had real expectations of good things happening. The year was 2019 following the lightning in a bottle year of 2018. SInce September 26, 2018 when, Houston won its only Lamar Hunt Trophy, things have been really bad. Tab Ramos barely made it through his two seasons before the team parted ways with him and Paulo Nagamura's tenure as head coach lasted less than a season as things have gone from bad to worse.
The Dynamo have spent money trying to rejuvenate the team and find a combination of players that work. Unfortunately, the rebuild has now become a nonstop machination from one season into the next. For whatever reason, the team seems to be resolute in continuing to find the best talent in Central and South America while ignoring young, homegrown North American players. The latest draft was another indication of this as the team collected more GAM money to the coffers and sleeper picks that may or may not pan out.
In a community as diverse as Houston, it is about putting a winning product on the field. Former Dash head coach James Clarkson may have said it best years ago "We look for people of good character who are also good soccer players." Unlike the Dynamo, the Dash have looked for the best players no matter where they might be in the world and have put together a group that is as diverse as the city on and off the pitch. The fanbase will support a winner regardless of where they are from. The Dynamo need to stop focusing on playing to a certain aspect of the fanbase and just put a winner on the field.
Winning consistently is the answer. Houston already has the talent. It's now a matter of allowing them to play together long enough that they can mesh their talents as one. Nagamura had it right when he said of in-state rival Austin FC (paraphrasing) that they have been playing their core together game in and game out for 18 months. With vision and consistency, the fans will stick with their team. Without it, Houston continues to flounder at the bottom of the table. Can anyone tell us what the vision and the plan for this team is?