Wait. Why is there a Zlatan Ibrahimovic post on Dynamo Theory?
Admittedly, this is more of a tease than any loathing Houston Dynamo fan deserves at the moment, but I feel inclined to crack the door on how with even the smallest of hope Zlatan could actually don Houston Dynamo orange in a few years.
I can hear the shouts already: "We don't spend on the players we have now, so why would we spend on Ibra?"
Valid question, really, but also off point. Others on this blog in the comments of various articles and stories have alluded to the current ownership's knack for spending when spending makes sense. Boniek Garcia and Alexander Lopez were both brought in with fairly substantial (for Major League Soccer at the time) transfer fees. Those transfer fees were paid for by the club meaning the ownership footed a vast majority of the bill directly out of their own bottom line.
They examined the quality of the asset they were acquiring, his affect upon the on field and off field product along with the number of fans in the stands. The ownership cares about the diversity of the throngs of cheering fans because diversity means untapped potential for many, many years to come.
None of this, however, points to why Zlatan would actually make sense for the struggling MLS club, and really, isn't that the point?
For as long as I can remember the Houston Dynamo have existed within the confines of what makes sense for the club. Every move the club has ever made in player or coach acquisitions has always had an air of we saw that coming to them. They were never the big splash or even a shocking type of move. Boniek Garcia and Alex Lopez were both transfer rumors for 2-3 years before they were actually brought into the club. Why start now?
Well, you don't start now. Zlatan has gone on-record to say he has watched "the Major League Soccer", and spoken to ex-teammate Thierry Henry about the quality of the league. Side note, how cool is it that big name players are recruiting internationally for the league? According to Ibra, Henry has talked to him positively about MLS, and he has said it is an interesting thing if the opportunity is still available to him in two to three years.
I happen to know a team who at the conclusion of this MLS season will have a substantial amount of salary budget, if they so choose. The majority of guaranteed contracts will be in either team option years or concluded entirely, offering up more freedom financially to ultimately make a solid move. The majority of those guaranteed contracts are for aging veteran players who will most likely not be with the team in 2015 either way.
If Boniek Garcia shows well in this World Cup, there will undoubtedly be European suitors. I would be shocked if he remains with the team beyond 2015. Brad Davis will be in the twilight of his career along with Ricardo Clark and Corey Ashe. Moves could easily be made to bring in draft picks and financial compensation (allocation money) to help offset the salary budget charge.
Moves could be made with players like Andrew Driver, Jermaine Taylor and even Will Bruin. You could free up roster slots in the offseason while acquiring young talent needing a year or two of training or draft picks to help plant the seeds of youth development and growth. We've seen the quality from Mark Sherrod and AJ Cochran, just imagine 2-4 more of them.
With two to three years to plan ahead, it would be quite easy to create a situation where you could entice Zlatan to come and play for the team using money and other opportunities. In doing so, however, would you get back what you put in?
There is no doubt the investment in a player like Zlatan would be financially sound. While current Houston Dynamo fans or Major League Soccer fans may not necessarily be familiar with the Swedish striker, it wouldn't take them long to fall in love with his personality. There is no doubt for me fans would also take kindly to his "no-holds-barred" playing style, which is electrifying.
Sure, he'd be an aging veteran, too. A lot like Thierry Henry when he came into the league, but let's face reality. Henry has been pretty solid after that initial rocky start as a top player in MLS. Zlatan Ibrahimovic would easily be one of the top five strikers in the league, and most of all, he would find the net a ton.
And ultimately, that is the mark of a striker…or so I'm told.
"All Hail Zlatan"