In soccer, and sports in general for the most part, your objective is to outscore your opponent. Teams take different routes in doing so. Some by focusing on having a great defensive backfield and capitalizing on counter opportunities. Some prefer a more aggressive offense that bombards a goalkeeper and simply hopes to outgun their opponent. Some play as a cohesive 11 and function as one fluid unit, getting solid play from their goalkeepers all the way up to their forwards. What is the Dynamo strategy? It would appear none of the above this season. They ranked a measly 15th out of 19th this past season in goals scored. However, in my opinion, it's not about the strategy, it's about the ability. Giles Barnes, our Creamsicle MVP Winner, was a staple attacking the opposing goalkeeper for the Dynamo, but his team high 11 goals doesn't even rank him in the top 15 in the league. Barnes led the Dynamo and was tied for 4th in the league with 113 shots, but the offense was still dismal. One adjustment is needed, we must put more soccer balls into the back of the goal. Easier said than done,right?
Whether the attack next season is bolstered by acquiring somebody that can do that job via the draft or other player transactions,or just based on improvement within the club's current roster, it must drastically improve for the Dynamo to make noise. With a defense that still aims to find its footing as a unit in 2015, a more effective, efficient offense would help Houston to eke out some wins. Having Luis Garrido for a whole schedule will do nothing but help smooth out the Dynamo attack. Who will be the one to step up for the Dynamo is 2015?
Giles Barnes: Barnes was the MVP of the team last year as well as their leading scorer. He took 113 shots, compared to 2nd place Will Bruin's 68. It could be assumed that Barnes will again improve as he has the past 2 seasons and could put up more goals and more efficient numbers offensively.
Will Bruin: Bruin was the team's 2nd highest goal scorer last year. His goal production should come as no surprise as he tied the record in 2012 for goals scored by a second year pro with 12. He was a much more efficient scorer in 2014 than Barnes as he only shot 68 times and put 31 on goal and 10 in the goal, 1 less goal than Barnes on 45 less shots. Maybe Bruin takes more shots in 2015 and keeps a similar high percentage of success and takes over the scoring lead.
A Newly Acquired Player: Whether acquired from a different club or via the draft, a new player could come in and be the guy on offense for the Dynamo. It's not likely that they would replace Barnes as the team's leading scorer and most dangerous offensive weapon, but crazier things have happened right?
Bryan Salazar: The creative, flashy, young attacking player. Has come up through the system and while there are no concrete plans of when he'll arrive to the Dynamo, maybe 2015 is the year they break out the 20 year old Salazar.
Somebody Not Mentioned Above: Possibly one of the other forwards on the roster like Omar Cumings who when healthy has showed his speed and ability to get down field. Or a young gun like Jason Johnson or Mark Sherrod. JJ spent much of the season in Pittsburgh with USL-Pro affiliate Pittsburgh Riverhounds while Mark Sherrod suffered an ACL tear that ended his 2014 season early. Or someone not playing up top. Whether that is a midfielder or defender who capitalizes on their scoring chances to an elite level. Somebody like Kofi Sarkodie or talented long time veteran DeMarcus Beasley.