Can Treading Water Save the Season?

Zero goals for. Eight goals allowed. Three losses. These are the ugly stats from the Dynamo’s recent three game road trip. With a rash of injuries and stars Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia off for World Cup duty there comes a point where fans may hope the team can “tread water”. With stars out, the hope is that the team can at least be competitive and stay in the same spot in the standings until the reinforcements return. Is treading water good enough in Houston or is it time for a change? It has to be the latter.

The harsh reality is, the Dynamo aren’t good enough. They’re good two of their four defensive spots and they’re good at some midfield spots, depending on who’s healthy and with the team. Other than that, they aren’t good enough. Take a look at Colorado’s opening goal from Sunday night. Marvell Wynne was given weeks to hit the cross that picked out a completely unmarked Deshorn Brown, who was standing about 6 yards from goal. This defensive breakdown has been seen far too often. It’s not just the defenders. Andrew Driver did not contest Wynne outside and there was no pressure from a center midfielder. David Horst and Jermaine Taylor let Brown get right to the spot of the cross and finish with no pressure. Horst and Taylor have had way too many lapses in the past month.

So, what fixes this? Knee jerk reaction would call for removal of head coach Dominic Kinnear. You’re not going to hear that from me. I believe Kinnear is the best manager in Major League Soccer and removing him would only make things worse. This is on the players. Dynamo have fans have long moaned and groaned about AEG and their spending habits when it pertains to their “other” franchise. While I agree this is a problem, there are other issues involved.

You can’t live in this league with slow center backs. Well, you can, but you better score a lot of goals. Right now the Dynamo have two slow center backs who are not reading the game well at all. Up front, Will Bruin can’t pass to himself. I’ve had my reservations on Bruin but he is what he is, a target forward who when getting service can be highly effective. When he isn’t getting service he’s forced to track back and try and be a play maker. This is not a role he’s very good at. Giles Barnes is one of most gifted players on this team with the ball at his feet but playing him at forward is limiting his ability. I’d much rather see him in an attacking midfield role. Playing Servando Carrasco and Warren Creavalle in midfield is nice if you’re not really interested in scoring a goal, something the Dynamo haven’t done since May 17th. With the World Cup approaching there has been a lot of talk about the United States and the diamond midfield. This is where Barnes should be, at the top of the diamond.

There must be signings this summer. Signings. Multiple. Whether it be from outside MLS or a trade, the roster needs shaking up. A center back and a forward are musts. Another creative, attacking midfielder is also needed. Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes, and Will Bruin are the only ones who are safe in my opinion. They should remain in the lineup and should not be involved in any type of trade. Other than them, anything is in play. Will other teams be interested in Jermaine Taylor or Omar Cummings for example? Doesn’t hurt to ask. Make moves. A few of them. It’s the only way out of this.

Leading the league in losses, albeit with games in hand, is not anything most Dynamo supporters would have expected coming in to this season but it’s a fact. Can this season be turned around? Definitely. While eight losses leads Major League Soccer, the Dynamo still sit in fourth place in the East, a spot that qualifies for the playoffs. However, making the playoffs with this roster would be fools’ gold. The roster needs to be overhauled for this year and the future. Signing a David Villa is nice but we all know that’s not something the Dynamo can do. Find a few solid, young players from Scotland, Norway, Austria, anywhere. This can be fixed. I think it will be fixed. We can’t have another Astros in this city.

(image courtesy of John Leyba/The Denver Post)

About Dustyn Richardson

Managing editor and Houston Dynamo writer for Total-MLS. Fan of all Houston sports teams and Manchester United supporter. Still angry at Bud Selig for moving the Astros to the American League.