MLS' transfer deadline came and went on Thursday, with a final flurry of moves ending what had been a pretty eventful window.
English legends Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard crossed the pond, finally, while other fancy names like Didier Drogba, Andrea Pirlo, and Giovanni Dos Santos also came to the league.
Minor moves echoed throughout from playoff-contending teams in the West, including Portland's new DP, San Jose's midfield acquisitions, and Sporting KC's midfielder with a pedigree. These signings will help those clubs in their chases, but one of their main competitors, the Houston Dynamo, decided to stand pat at the deadline, sticking with Cubo Torres and Rasheed Olabiyi as their only transfers in the secondary window. The Dynamo also traded for Sheanon Williams with the Philadelphia Union.
The question is: Will this hurt Houston's playoff chances?
To determine whether or not the lack of moves will hurt them, we must take a look at the current roster and determine whether or not they have any major needs:
Goalkeeper: Tyler Deric, Joe Willis. Nothing here. Deric is tied for fifth in MLS in clean sheets and is consistently in the Save of the Week conversation. Willis was acquired in January, but has only played one match.
Defense: DaMarcus Beasley, Jermaine Taylor, AJ Cochran, David Horst, Taylor Hunter, Kofi Sarkodie, Raùl Rodríguez, Sheanon Williams. The defense has done alright this season, but entering the most important part of the season, they won't have their starting center-back, as Taylor is out with an injury he picked up while playing for Jamaica in the Gold Cup. Hunter is on loan in the USL, limiting the amount of fullbacks to three.
It probably would have been nice to add a CB after the injury, but Rodríguez has looked good recently, so he should be able to hold down the fort.
Midfield: Alex, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido, Alexander Lopez, Nathan Sturgis, Olabiyi, Leonel Miranda. Yes, there are more, but these are the main ones. All of them get playing time, but it can vary depending on the formation.
While forward Giles Barnes was at the Gold Cup, Owen Coyle played a 4-4-1-1 formation with Davis right behind Will Bruin, almost acting as a striker. With Barnes back against Sporting, the formation was 4-2-3-1, with Sturgis and Clark at holding midfielder and Barnes joining Davis and Alex ahead of them.
Garrido was acquired this time last season on loan and is another defensive mid option, but has primarily come off the bench. Clark can provide a scoring punch when needed, but his most recent goal was followed by an injury, so if he is out, Garrido can step in.
The two Alex's have spent lots of time on the wings, but haven't come up with crosses. In fact, according to whoscored.com, Davis has 1.8 crosses a game, 1.7 more than Alex.
This is a weakness, but something that isn't too big. He helps a lot on defense, allowing the fullbacks to push up and join the attack.
Is there a need here? It probably would have helped to add a winger, but that isn't the end of the world.
Forward: Will Bruin, Giles Barnes, Erick "Cubo" Torres. There is no need here.
Coyle has three extremely talented forwards at his disposal. Barnes is a speedy striker that can go in the midfield as well, and was a starter on Jamaica's Gold Cup Cinderella team. Torres needs no introduction, and Bruin is currently a goal-scoring machine.
The Dynamo can't ask for more at this position.
So none of the positions required help. The other thing to look at is how their competitors did. Yes, the Timbers signed a new Designated Player and San Jose now have midfielders, but really, none of it will put them over the edge.
So no, the transfer deadline will not hinder Houston in their quest for the playoffs.
The roster freeze doesn't take affect until September 15 so it is still possible for the team to bring in a player who is out of contract until the freeze.