Over the last year Clint Dempsey, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Bradley have all returned to MLS. And oh yeah the Crew acquired Michael Parkhurst this last week too. The Philadelphia Union are currently trying to get Maurice Edu, but with a price tag of over $1 million it may not happen. There are rumors circulating that Oguchi Onyewu would also like to make a return to the U.S., and of course everyone keeps talking about players who should be returning. With Juan Agudelo as the only player poised to make the jump to Europe it doesn't take a mathematician to see which way the tide is flowing.
But with this influx of players none of them have come to Houston.
When Clint Dempsey seemed to suddenly appear out of nowhere in the middle of last season and he signed with the Seattle Sounders, he said Houston was the other place he would have been interested in playing. To fans it looked like ownership was unwilling to open the pocketbook to get him but after his less than stellar season with the Sounders perhaps the front office and Head Coach Dominic Kinnear knew what they were doing.
From the outside it looks like we are saddled with an ownership trio who won't give the front office the money to get big name players but what if the opposite is true? What if we just have a front office and coach that are the best thrift shoppers in the league because they like it that way?
Kinnear has shown that he likes to build his team through the draft where he can get players who still need some developing and he can develop them into what he wants. Former Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron was a fourth round draft pick who is now playing for Stoke City in the EPL. And Brad Davis and Tally Hall are currently enjoying the sun and fun down in Brazil for USMNT training camp. How long did it take before the fruits of Kinnears labor begin to show in Corey Ashe who is finally turning into a top back in the league? Jason Johnson, the Dynamo's top pick in last years draft, is still developing but showed brilliant flashes in the few times he saw the field last year. It's a much slower way of building a team then throwing a bunch of money at a problem but it creates a quality long lasting team.
If you have every gone thrift shopping then you know it takes time digging through racks and racks of crap to find a designer shirt that only costs $4. But if thrift shopping gets you two MLS Cups, four appearances in the MLS Cup Final and last years appearance in the Eastern Conference Final then by all means Kinnear, keep on thrifting.