Houston Dynamo; Three things to address and quickly
The Houston Dynamo will be sitting at home watching the MLS playoffs from their couch. For the fifth consecutive season, the Dynamo failed to make the playoffs. The organization has only had three playoff berths in the last decade. What's next?
To begin with, Houston has to find a head coach. The thought is that Kenny Bundy did better than expected with the club and now must be considered for the job even though he doesn't fit the criteria laid out by general manager Pat Onstad just over a month ago. The team cannot afford to take very long to decide on Bundy or whomever since it was shortness of time that led to the hiring of Paulo Nagamura.
The team needs to make some decisions of players not just those out of contract but those whose best years are behind them. The team needs to decide who their core players are especially since there are some prolific free agents on the market. Three that come to mind are Joao Moutinho, Derrick Etienne and Wil Trapp. Some tough decisions are coming and without a head coach in place, the next one will have inherit whom ever Onstad and company think are best.
Houston has consistently been losing fans year after year. PNC Stadium holds 20,000 plus but the sellouts have been far and few between. Since 2015 attendance has been on a steady decline culminating in less than 12,000 on average attending a match in 2021. That's a 42% drop in attendance. A losing franchise is a big part of that equation but marketing is as well. When you expect a crowd of 20,000 give or take a few thousand and you have a giveaway that represents the face of the franchise and only hand out 5,000, that's problem. When your seat prices and concession stand prices increase and you have a losing franchise that's a problem. Houston has had issues with attracting a steady clientele to the stadium and it all begins with marketing.
How Houston approaches each of these three issues will ultimately decide how good 2023 will be.