Hector Herrera makes his long awaited Houston Dynamo debut on Saturday night. Opening against longtime in-state rival, FC Dallas, his arrival is expected to usher in a new era of winning soccer in Houston, Texas.
It's been a long time since the Houston fanbase was this excited. It's been a long time since Houston has had a successful go at a face of the franchise. It's been a long time since Houston had a winner. No pressure Hector.
"He's going to raise the quality of our team," began Nagamura at Thursday's press conference. "I don't think that he is a solution for everything, but I think he's going to raise the level of our team."
Nagamura's comments are exactly how coaches, players and organizations temper expectations. Fans on the other hand live in a world of instant gratification. Winning results now are what matter to them. They are fickle and impatient. They don't want to see Herrera's impact take weeks or months.
"But it takes time, right?" continued Nagamura. "He just joined the team, this was his first week. We'll see how that's going to look.”
Fans can expect to see a midfielder who is in command of the pitch. The 32 year old's resume speaks for itself. He will not allow mistakes to slide and his leadership skills are expected to have an immediate impact on performance.
"His leadership skills, I think, are going to be huge for our group," exuded Nagamura. "We have pretty much a very, I would say, big, young group in our squad. So I think he'll be a huge help in terms of mentoring players and helping with the leadership skills he has."
Herrera, for his part, is ready to bring a winner back to Houston. He has done it every where he has stepped on the pitch. From Pachuca to Porto to Atletico and the Mexican national team, the team captain of El Tri has done nothing but win. On Saturday, he steps on the pitch at PNC Stadium against FC Dallas. Houston's biggest rival posted an improbable 2-1 win at Toyota Stadium fueling the idea that with Herrera that won't happen again.
The Houston Dynamo have been searching for the right coach since October of 2014 following the resignation of Dominic Kinnear. The Houston Dynamo have been searching for a player the fans could embrace following the departure of Brad Davis in 2016. They may have found both in 2022. The team has slowly been redefining the "Dynamo Way" over the past 18 games under Nagamura's leadership. Now with Herrera's debut on Saturday, nothing less then another MLS Cup trophy will satisfy the faithful. Bring both of those to reality and Herrera's signing will be "a no brainer" just as Nagamura said a week ago at the introductory press conference.
It all begins on Saturday night as the Houston Dynamo host FC Dallas in the next leg of the Texas Derby. Kick-off is slated 7:30pm CT.