The Houston Dynamo, having opted to pass in the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft, are in a good place to take a look at the players available in the second round which takes place Thursday, the 18th. The second round of the draft is a little different than the first as players may enter into negotiations with the club that selected them rather than a club simply taking on the remaining contract. If negotiations for a contract fail after 7 days, the player is then available to MLS clubs on a "first come, first serve" basis.
There are a number of talented players available to be picked up and with the 5th pick in the draft the Dynamo could begin to check a box off their off-season to-do list. So where to begin? Drafts are dynamic and require one to weigh the needs of the club against the quality of players available (and hoping those things align just right when it's your club's pick). So what are the needs of the Dynamo?
As it stands now, central defense could use an injection of health and leadership. Currently AJ Cochran, David Horst, and Jermaine Taylor are the incumbent central defenders and all struggled in one way or another to really command the position. There are a number of center backs available to either provide depth or to potentially lead the back line including Marvell Wynne. Wynne is a starting caliber defender capable of playing in several positions along the back line that has seen big games including a championship with the Colorado Rapids. Wynne would bring experience and strength to the Dynamo backline, but his hefty contract could be tough to negotiate down to something a bit more reasonable for the club.
Another tough and experienced CB that is available for selection is Jeff Parke. Parke isn't the fastest or strongest defender out there, but he's certainly intelligent and reads the game well. He partnered on and off last season with Bobby Boswell for D.C. United and helped DCU become one of the toughest defenses in the league. However, like Wynne, his contract could prove difficult to bring down.
And then there's Danny O'Rourke. The longtime Columbus Crew man (whose father was a Houston Oiler) is a smart player with an eye on advancing the ball forward. A former talented midfielder turned center back is on the cheaper side of things and could provide depth at the position.
We could also use players up top either as starters or for depth. Giles Barnes, Will Bruin, and Jason Johnson are our only officially listed forwards at the moment and cries for more goal scoring were sent out throughout the year by Dynamo fans. One option up top is former almost Golden Boot winner (runner-up) Edson Buddle. Buddle has never quite lived up to his 2010 season self which could be used to bring his price down. Buddle's a proven goal scoring threat who possesses speed and hold-up qualities which could help deliver Owen Coyle's favored sound of the ball hitting the back of the net.
Buddle's price could be a rather risky obstacle to tackle, something that may lead the Dynamo to take a long look at Atiba Harris. Harris possesses a lot of speed which could spread defensive lines to create space for Dynamo players to sneak into and exploit. Harris was never a goal scoring phenomenon, but his skill set could help make goal scoring easier for other Dynamo attackers.
So what player would you go after if you were the Dynamo brass? Another option not discussed is the Dynamo's ability to pass and try and sign/negotiate with any players not selected in the draft. That could include resigning players Omar Cummings and Brian Ownby to cheaper contracts to provide the club more flexibility moving forward. There are plenty of players to go after in this draft, but there's no telling what newly appointed head coach Owen Coyle and his staff will do.
Here's the list of available players for the second stage of the Re-Entry Draft.