How did the Houston Dynamo get this bad?
It's been nearly a decade since the Houston Dynamo FC were a relevant soccer power. The catastrophic downturn began with the exit of former Dynamo president Chris Canetti and former coach Dominic Kinnear. Enter the Matt Jordan era and futility.
If we take a look at roster construction, the Houston Dynamo just did things differently back in the day. Their rosters were predominantly North American players with a few exceptions. In 2013, their final year with a winning season outside of one lightning in a bottle season by Wilmer Cabrera the team had 16 players from the USA out of 25 on the roster. Of the 31 players with first team contracts in 2022 but not necessarily first team players, Houston had 14 players from North America, a 180 degree reversal and then some. There has to something that scenario.
In 2022, only one player (Steve Clark) has played and started 30 games or more for the Houston Dynamo. One other player midfielder Coco Carrasquilla has featured in 30 matches but only started 25. Five players have appeared in 29 games but only two have started more then 25 games. By contrast, seven of the 11 players on the pitch during Houston's last winning season in 2013 started 29 or more games in a 34 game season. There was no nonsense about rotations, managing minutes or playing too many games in a week. It was all about putting the best out there game in and game out and winning. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Lastly, the Houston Dynamo under Canetti and Kinnear went out and got pieces to fill spots. When Brian Ching's knees were saying enough is enough, they went and found Giles Barnes lying on the beach in Europe on vacation contemplating his soccer future. Convinced he still had some good soccer in him, they signed the London native to team up with Will Bruin. For the next four seasons (2012-2015), they would have a consistent scoring duo. Since then nothing. This is just one example of the Houston Dynamo did business,
When Jordan arrived, the change to build a team that reflected the Hispanic heritage of Houston began but it has never taken hold. What the organization has missed is that the Dynamo wants a fanbase more than they want a team that reflects the city. Winning is what brings fans to the stadium. From the time BBVA now PNC Stadium opened till 2016, Houston's fan attendance average never dipped below 19,500 in a venue that tops out at that holds 22,039. In the subsequent seasons since, Houston has not averaged more than 17,500.
IN a nutshell, the Houston Dynamo organization has become this bad because of inept roster construction, poor vision and future planning and losing their way when it came to results. Only time will tell if current general manager will follow this same pattern and if so how long before owner Ted Segal calls it quits.