I've admittedly slacked off with the DTQA posts as of late. This has as much to do with World Cup games seemingly every day of the week as Major League Soccer taking a break. US Open Cup is fun and all, but who really cares enough to warrant questions? Yeah, didn't think anyone.
A day late, but better late than never! Onto the questions:
@dynamotheory How is it that Bruin gets 3 quality scoring opportunities, shanks one, whiffs on another & has touch of stone on 3rd? #DTQA— Hal Kaiser (@MIBS98) July 5, 2014
Something tells me Will Bruin has no hope of escaping the fan disapproval and dissatisfaction over the remainder of this season. He has overstayed his welcome, and fans are very much tired of watching him struggle. We know he is a decent forward he can bang home a goal or two, at random, when he has his one game in ten where he actually does score.
So why the struggles? Momentum is a big key to how strikers position their bodies while on the ball or receiving the ball. Momentum is what Will Bruin seems to struggle with most while watching him. He is unable to control his body. His movements with the ball are awkward, and if he is tracking a ball down he doesn't possess the ability to stop once he reaches it. Perhaps it is his size, which others will laud as a great asset for a physical forward, but one most also offer his size at this point has become a negative.
What concerns me most is his inability to win more than 1 in 10 aerial challenges, if he even attempts to go for the aerial challenge. Multiple times last night I watched a ball be sent overhead where he had a chance to go up, but he instead opted to sit back and react to what the defender did. Every time the defender headed the ball well past him and cleanly to a midfielder or forward of the opposing team.
In short, Bruin is as much mental as he is physical, and he can't figure out how to mesh the two at the right times. I'm tired of hearing the issues with the Houston Dynamo stem from lack of service. Even with good service he can't find the net. The offseason can't get here quick enough, and that is as much about helping him as it is helping the team. He needs a new team, a fresh "start" if you will.
@dynamotheory if Robles & Hall had a competition to see we ho could keep a higher % of their kicks in bounds, would anyone win? #DTQA— Hal Kaiser (@MIBS98) July 5, 2014
Two in a row for Hal. Hey-o.
From 102 on the corner I have a pretty good perspective of each goalkeeper for one half. Luis Robles, the New York Red Bull's goalkeeper, looked far worse than Tally Hall for the half I had him in front of me. He sent two balls out of bounds on goalkicks, and worse he sent two more along the sideline that a Red Bulls player had to keep in bounds with either a very good aerial header on the line or a nifty trap move.
Tally Hall, while he was in front of me, looked actually pretty solid with his goalkicks. While they didn't always connect with a Houston Dynamo player, they at least stayed closer to the middle of the field. Further, I noticed in the second half though he was in the goal on the other end of the stadium, he looked to be intentionally sending less lofted balls and more driven passes up the field. This may have helped his kicks from going out of bounds, but he actually did keep most in the middle of the pitch or relatively close to it.
So, hey, in the grand scheme of things, nobody would win even though Tally did win last night just barely.
@dynamotheory why do the dynamo look so different when Brad Davis is in? #dtqa— Michael D. (@MikeDatTiger) July 5, 2014
Is that the same as asking why Sporting Kansas City has been so atrocious without Graham Zusi? I've admittedly been one to focus on the whole next man up concept, but in reality when you have a combination of injuries and national team call-ups the entire fabric of a team is basically torn to shreds. Last night, we still were without Corey Ashe and David Horst from the season's starting XI. for the opener.
Still, as good as Brad Davis is on the pitch, it is how he conducts himself as the Captain of the team where we miss him the most. He stands up when calls are bad, he tracks back on defense, and he shows why he is so good on set pieces. His service was top notch, even if the team couldn't put a head to one. He's simply a cut above, both physically and mentally right now.
There was a ball played early on that had no business being tracked down by Brad. He was probably 30 yards away, if not more, and the ball was maybe 10 yards from going out of bounds. Not only did he track it down, but he got it to Warren Creavalle. It was a moment of pure awe for me, as I've never considered Brad Davis particularly quick, but the pace he showed there was incredible.
What I'm getting at is what makes the team so different with Brad as opposed to without Brad is Brad Davis. There isn't another Dynamo player like him, and there aren't very many players in MLS like him either. We're lucky to have him, and while I hate he's back with the Dynamo under these terms (losing to the Waffles) I am glad he is back for the team.
@dynamotheory need a true striker and outside mid. What are reasonable options?— Michael Walton (@mwalton99) July 5, 2014
If you mean options now, the answer is there aren't any. The players the Houston Dynamo currently have are the same players we will be seeing throughout the remainder of this season. Unless something drastic happens and a club from outside Major League Soccer takes interest in one of our top players, really this includes Giles Barnes and Boniek Garcia at this point in time and that is about it, we're pretty much stuck with the current Salary Budget situation.
Somebody might be saying what about Brad Davis and Ricardo Clark, but the reality is both as well aged at this point and no team outside Major League Soccer is looking to splash enough to make their transfers out equitable to what we'd need to fill the voids left by their departures.
Somebody might also be saying what about Tally Hall, but the reality is he is broken right now. It has very little to do with him and more to do with the lack of protection in front of him. Mentally, he fears for the holes in front of him, and since he hasn't had to really deal with that until recently in his career he isn't quite sure how to handle the change in responsibility. I'm not sure if he will figure it out, but until then no clubs outside Major League Soccer will want to spend anything worthwhile to transfer him from the Dynamo.
So what are we left with? Very little chance of any transfers out, meaning no salary budget to work with. Further, the only players I'd be willing to trade within Major League Soccer to try to nab a good player would be Will Bruin, Warren Creavalle, Anthony Arena, Jermaine Taylor and Tally Hall. With Bruin the other team would be stuck trying to sign him to a deal since his expires at the conclusion of this season (not likely to happen). Jermaine Taylor is on a large guaranteed contract, so this just simply won't happen unfortunately. Warren Creavalle and Anthony Arena are young kids, but neither will pull in a valuable striker or winger.
Tally Hall on the other hand might hold some value in MLS. Would trading him now benefit us in any way? Yes, the salary budget space saved would help, a little. Further, his value within MLS is decent. I don't think we'd land much in the way of a starting striker or winger, but at this point the regression from Tyler Deric to Tally Hall isn't all that wide so what do you have to lose?
The availability of starting caliber wingers or strikers is negligible right now. We simply have no assets to offer outside Tally Hall that another team would be willing to give up one worthy of starting. Unless a team was desperate for a goalkeeper, and those teams have dwindled to just two or three, and none of them have enough depth at striker or outside midfielder to really warrant discussions.
As always, thanks for the questions! Feel free to put your own answers in the comments below.