A lot of players were shocked, upset, or both when Owen Coyle and the Houston Dynamo mutually parted ways midweek. Include Rio Grande Valley FC's Charlie Ward as one of those players. "I am very upset for Owen and his family. I understand being from England, how big of a thing it is to move all your life here." Ward added he has no doubt that Coyle will continue to "be the great manager and person that he is." The organization losing Coyle will not deter the young Englishman from his aspirations for the future however, "I'm upset, but it doesn't change my outlook on going out there every game and being the best player I can be." Ward acknowledged, "I am not going to play on the Houston Dynamo first team on merit because Owen was there, it doesn't work like that. I have to be doing well every game, and being the best player in my team."
The former Stoke City U-21 man is experiencing an incredible first season with the Toros. At RGVFC, he plays for the man many think is the favorite to take over as Dynamo head coach, Wilmer Cabrera. When it comes to his current boss, Charlie doesn't hesitate to give quite an endorsement.
"What can I say about Wilmer that isn't positive? I have come to a new country, and he has made me feel so welcome. From the first day I got here until now, 2-3 months later, I am a much better player. That is down to him, Dello (Michael Dellorusso), and all the other staff." He continues to say, "For Wilmer, I really hope he gets the job. I want to see him coaching at the highest level, and winning games with Houston. So whether he is here, or in Houston, I always want Wilmer happy and if he's happy, us as a team are happy. So for me and the Toros, we will support what ever decision Wilmer makes. I only can say good things about the man, I really do thank him for how well things are going here so far."
As in other sports, certain soccer players have certain types of manager or coach they prefer. When I asked Ward the style of manager he personally enjoys, it pointed to one top candidate. "Personally I like someone I can knock on his door and speak about football. Really truly live this sport, and have a great burning desire and passion for it as I do. There is nothing other than my family that I love more than soccer, and I am truly blessed to be doing it every day. So without me being biased just for this article that you're reading, Wilmer is the perfect manager. He's a great person, loves this sport, has great ideas, and most of all the brand of playing style he tells the team to play is perfect for me. It's a passing, keep the ball, style of play with freedom to play in the final 3rd, and be aggressive when defending. Wilmer suits me as a player down to a "T"
Ward continued to express understanding and respect for Owen Coyle and his situation. However, there is no sign of him wanting to end his time in Texas, possibly even developing a southern twang?
"Maybe when I go home and see all my family they will ask what's happened to my accent. Maybe I will get that Texas twang in my voice." And to all the fans who have welcomed Ward into the Lonestar State, he had this to say to you, "The people and fans have taken great to me down here. So I thank all the Toros fans for their support." In the end, he does still miss his native England , "My mom and all my brothers are back home so nothing beats spending time with them and being with my 2 dogs."
Tune in to Ward, Wilmer, and the Toros as they battle Saint Louis FC tomorrow at 7:30pm CDT. You can stream the match live HERE.