Monday, teams around the league including the Houston Dynamo kicked off training for the 2016 season.
Speaking to the media after practice players and Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle all spoke about how the players know that they have to be better this season and the excitement of starting training camp.
"There's excitement every day for me. We love being here; we have a fantastic club. Everything we do is towards growing the team. I make sure, like last year, that we're competitive, get to the playoffs and win the elite prize. From the group, there have been a ton of players here and there. I brought in a bit of freshness, one or two young players as well. We are still at the moment looking to conclude one or two things to bring, what we feel, are good players into the squad. We're certainly excited about everything moving forward," said Coyle about the excitement of starting training camp.
Improvement was the common thread that ran through every comment in the post-training media session. Players felt the team could do more and that it is on them to improve this season.
"No one can do any more than what Owen did (last season). It falls on us as players. It falls on us, as group leaders, the older ones, to really make the push, to really take accountability and that responsibility to drag us to where we belong. It's not going to be great all season - we know that - but it's in those tough times when you all come together and you get great results. We are looking to have a consistent season and obviously lift the (MLS) Cup at the end of it," said Giles Barnes.
The team came under new majority ownership during the offseason and the new owners made sure to make it out for the start of training camp. New majority owner Gabriel Brenner commented to media about the atmosphere at training saying that, "This is perfect. You can't ask for a better setup or weather. You can tell the players are ready for the season and look to work hard."
It isn't just fans who were happy to hear that ownership was out at training but it had an impact on the players as well. "It means a lot, especially with Mr. Brenner. He has always been very involved, even when he wasn't the majority owner, he has always been very supportive and involved and shown his face around the locker room. I'm glad he's here and he has the stronghold now. We love him around here; he is awesome and he really is the guy to be there for our team," said midfielder Ricardo Clark.