Last week, I asked everyone to vote for the players that stood out the most and deserved to be in the All-Time Best XI for the Houston Dynamo. I thought it was a good idea as former head coach Dominic Kinnear's moving on to the San Jose Earthquakes really marks the end of era. While we all hope the Dynamo continue to win MLS Cups in the future, I think it's important to also acknowledge the greats that played under Dom and this is a fun way to do it.
As I mentioned last week, the staff also took part in the exact same survey to determine their Best XI. So before we reveal how you all voted, here's how we at Dynamo Theory feel is the best of the best for the Dynamo:
Goalkeeper: Pat Onstad
Pat Onstad ran away with this one bringing in over 87% of the votes. The two-time Goalkeeper of the Year Award winner was a crucial part of the early success of the Dynamo and his penalty stop on Jay Heaps helped earn the Dynamo their very first MLS Cup.
Defenders: Eddie Robinson, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Wade Barrett
Eddie Robinson, Geoff Cameron, and Bobby Boswell all claimed the first 3 defenders positions, but the final defender selection forced a run-off vote which ushered in Wade Barrett to the final spot. Eddie Robinson and Boswell largely served as the vocal leaders from the back during their time with the Dynamo and played their game with a high degree of intelligence and a knack for physical defending which provided plenty of grit for the Houston defense. Cameron had played all over the pitch for the Dynamo, but really found home in central defense pairing alongside Bobby Boswell. Cameron's speed, vision, and ability to get forward really helped make him the new breed of central defenders which United States Men's Coach Jurgen Klinsmann seems to like. Wade Barrett, the longtime Dynamo Captain, was quick, tough, and smart which all helped him after his career as a player as he settled in at home as a Dynamo Assistant Coach.
Midfielders: Brad Davis, Dwayne De Rosario, Ricardo Clark, Oscar Boniek Garcia
Brad Davis, Dwayne De Rosario, and Ricardo Clark earned the first 3 midfielder spots as Boniek Garcia and Stuart Holden were forced into a run-off which Boniek ran away with. Current Dynamo Captain Brad Davis has been with the Dynamo since they came to Houston. He consistently ranks among the assist leaders in the league and his accuracy on live or dead balls with his left foot is well known around the league. DeRo provided vision with superior finishing skills making him a potent offensive weapon for the Dynamo. Unfortunately for the Dynamo, he decided to leave after the 2008 season to go to his native Canada and play for Toronto FC. Ricardo Clark has really served as a prototypical central defensive midfielder for the Dynamo. He disrupts opponents' movements with the ball through his tackling and intercepting abilities and is quick, can get forward, and crack a shot from range with accuracy. Boniek arrived to the Dynamo during the summer of 2012 and helped push the Dynamo to their fourth MLS Cup match. Boniek brought dribbling abilities unlike any other Dynamo player before him and his uncanny ability to find space through several defenders and provide key runs and passes are just a few reasons why Boniek belongs in the final spot.
Forwards: Brian Ching, Giles Barnes
Brian Ching and Giles Barnes are our picks for the Best XI Forwards. The Dynamo Forward pool isn't quite as deep as our defensive or midfield pools, but there are several quality players there, most notably former US National Team player Brian Ching. The Flyin' Hawaiian always seemed to get his head on the ball and was a player that not only plays well, but makes those around him better. Ching provided hold up play which allowed defenders and midfielders to become involved in the offense and was a great finisher who was not afraid to put his body on the line as his acrobatic finishes included headers, bicycle kicks, and shots from all over the 18 yard box. Giles Barnes is relatively new to the team, but is beginning to really show his class and abilities in how he has adapted to the changing landscape of players around him. Barnes's speed, passing, and shot selection make him an ideal forward even though his traditional role was in the midfield. Dominic Kinnear saw a player that could stretch defenses, pass, and, at times, provide hold up play all while possessing a clinical finishing touch.