COMMERCE CITY, CO - JULY 3: Kofi Sarkodie #8 of the Houston Dynamo takes a shot against Jeff Larentowicz #4 of the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on July 3, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. (Photo by Bart Young/Getty Images)
Ok, I'm exaggerating a bit but in Dynamoland, there's no doubt the month of July is going to be vitally important to how the remainder of the season plays out. My reasoning is two fold, first being the importance of the transfer window and the second being Kinnear allowing the current lineup time to work together. Let me explain.
The transfer window this summer is of the utmost importance to the team in terms of finding a speed option up front and creative presence in the midfield. After the initial story, we've heard very little about Miler Castillo other than he seemed to fill the void up front being a physical guy with speed, but who really knows yet. His pedigree is nothing special but in a league like MLS, finding a "diamond in the rough"-type player is a key part of an organizations success.
As for a creative presence in the middle, this is a DEFCON-1 need that will be difficult, but not impossible to take care of. Things just aren't working for the Dynamo in terms of moving the ball through the midfield and linking to the forwards. Danny Cruz, Je-Vaughn Watson, Geoff Cameron and Colin Clark are simply not threatening opposing defenses, which makes it that much harder for Brad Davis to be effective. Simply put, they need another player that can threaten defenses and stop them from keying their entire game plan on stopping Davis down the left wing.
Now, I'm not saying that Cruz, Watson, Cameron and Clark can't or won't be effective, they just haven't gotten there yet and this leads to my second line of thinking. If the proper player can't be found to fill the teams needs, or as Dominic Kinnear stated,
"One, does he help the team win? Two, will the fans come out? And three, will he still have value on the transfer market in the future?"
Wow, that seems like a lot of conditions to meet.
So what happens if they can't find the right guy? Well, glad you asked. If that occurs, the current group must be given time to figure things out.
I believe Waston and Cameron are the best option in the central midfield, I think Cruz and Clark on the right wing can work, but how long will it take for this group to gel and start generating results? No idea, but it better be sooner rather than later. The weak Eastern Conference (yes, I bring it up all the time but it's the truth) gives Houston some extra time but not much. Another win less month won't help the situation and only drive fans into a more exaggerated mental tailspin.
At least Kinnear has found the right grouping in defense. Baring injury or a rest game, we should see Kofi Sarkodie, Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor and Corey Ashe in defense every time out. Sarkodie is the future and continues to improve and with the season already on teetering on the edge, unless he's hurting the team, he needs meaningful game time to he's farther along at the start of next season. Ashe works for me at left back for the moment and provides excellent speed and coverage against the more dangerous wingers in MLS. As for the middle, Taylor and Hainault are easily one of the best pairings in the league right now.
It's all about patience and properly utilizing the transfer window. Despite all the stress and insanity, Houston is only four points from an automatic playoff spot. Hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here!