On December 15th, 2005 the city of Houston gained its newest franchise. A team that would ultimately to this date bring the city its last major sports title. Not only winning its opening home game in its inaugural season but also claiming the MLS Championship for 2006. In 2007 the Houston Dynamo repeated the feat and leading the charge both times and since the team has been in Houston has been the Scot Dominic Kinnear.
In 1783 Thomas Jefferson gave a speech. In that speech he said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." I honestly think this quote is quite fitting for the Houston Dynamo. I am a firm believer that after a certain time things must be shaken up to keep it fresh. If we're looking at this quote though we can easily see how it fits the team.
Let's start with the obvious "The tree of liberty" that is the team itself. "the blood of the patriots" that is fairly simple as well that is Brian Ching, Brad Davis, Wade Barrett, Eddie Robinson, Stuart Holden, Geoff Cameron, and of course our faithful General Dominic Kinnear. Those are arguably the biggest names in Houston Dynamo history and they all have given us their blood, sweat, and tears. Now the blood of tyrants we can easily say are the following: L.A. Galaxy, Sporting K.C., New England Revolution, and San Jose Earthquakes (this one is questionable but we did get them to move to Houston so there is some rivalry there.) Oh and this little team to the north of Houston known as FC Dallas. Those teams have paid in their blood time and time over
The whole time the Houston Dynamo have only known one leader calling the shots on the field. Dominic Kinnear, short of him being sent off for going outside the box or using some of his colorful language at a ref he has been the man on the sideline for eight years. In those eight years Dom has crafted a truly beautiful resume: 2 MLS Cups, 2 Eastern Conference championships, 3 Western Conference championships and 1 Supporters Shield. In all honesty we could not ask for a better pedigree without being greedy.
But as the quote says, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time..." is it time to refresh our "tree of liberty"? Eddie Robinson, Wade Barrett, and Brian Ching have all gone on to retire and pursue other opportunities with the team. Stuart Holden and Geoff Cameron are off overseas pursuing careers in arguably the largest football league in the world. That leaves just two people; Brad Davis and Dominic Kinnear. Brad Davis has maybe a solid two seasons left in him barring no major injuries after that he'll more than likely join the front office or go hunting. The good thing is we have a potential replacement on hand with Alex Lopez (depending on his fitness of course).
That leaves us with just one man left Dominic Kinnear. Is it time to refresh him and bring in some new ideas? In my opinion, yes it is. You sir have done a lot for us, you are greatly appreciated and the city of Houston could not ask anything more for you. But I feel it's time to bring in some fresh ideas and new blood to the team. Sans our 2011 season, we have honestly struggled as a team since 2010. You can argue and point all you want the 2012 Dynamo, but making it to the MLS final was pure luck. The 2013 Dynamo making it to the Eastern Conference Championship for the third time was also pure luck. But honestly sometimes that's all we need.
But I am tired of relying on luck. How long before we can start relying on skill like RSL or SKC? Neither of which have a "big name" or "marquee" player like the L.A. Galaxy or Seattle Sounders, but both of which are seriously feared in the league because they play like a team. For some reason though the Dynamo rarely play like a true team. Either our attackers aren't attacking and scoring goals, are backline is making silly mistakes and letting goals in (let's be real Tally Hall can't do it all), or our midfield gives up a careless pass to allow a goal to be scored.
We are honestly an OKAY team at best. We are no longer that feared team in the West that teams hated playing against because they knew we would grind out that win somehow. My question to you is how much longer until we say enough and stop blaming the players? Other players have left the team to become successful: Kei Kamara, Dominic Oduro, Chris Wondolowski, and Je-Vaughn Watson to name a few. It's fully known that Dom does not like to rock the boat in the locker room he likes to bring people in who will keep the boat steady and afloat. Sometimes the boat needs to be rocked though and things need to be shaken up so we can succeed.
So the question I pose to everyone is when Dominic Kinnear's contract is up do we resign him and continue to accept mediocrity? Or do we refresh the tree of liberty and pursue a new coach? I honestly support the latter and if you follow me on twitter (shame on you if you don't!) you know I can't stand mediocrity and have been pushing for a refresh since the end of 2012. But hey I fully understand why extend his contract he's done a good job. But is a good job enough anymore? Let me know your thoughts when his contract is up does Dominic Kinner deseve another contract extension or do we pursue opportunities?