I've seen the opinions of Houston Dynamo fans: The team is in a really bad place, it isn't playing the correct lineup, and Owen Coyle should be fired as manager. I've tried to downplay your concerns, saying it would blow over and the Dynamo were just sorting out the kinks of early season MLS. Now, after losses in five of six games, I agree with most of the things you're saying: It's starting to get really, really bad in Houston.
Just to make things clear, I am not condoning the firing of Coyle. I still believe he deserves a chance to find a solution. But at the current moment, the Dynamo are the worst team in MLS, and it's not really close.
Everything's dysfunctional. The backline still faces questions in central defense and at right-back, and has yet to establish a rhythm or any sort of chemistry. The midfield doesn't create chances and doesn't play defense, so that's not good. And the forwards haven't produced anything in terms of goal-scoring.
There isn't a set starting XI, because not a single one has been good. At all. Cristian Maidana—supposed to be the answer in the chance creation department—has been benched recently, and another highly-paid attacker—Erick Torres—is struggling to earn the trust of a stubborn Coyle. Will Bruin, their top forward, played left bench in the last two games.
The Scottish manager—new to MLS last season—clearly doesn't have any answers. The Dynamo have struggled to find a balance between scoring goals and stopping them, and are in desperate need of some continuity.
I don't know what the solution is. We can speculate, but no one really does know. It's a mystery that has to be solved by the coach, and so far, he hasn't solved it. Sure, putting Collen Warner in defensive midfield helped slightly against Real Salt Lake, but he takes away a lot of offense due to his mediocre distribution skills. Andrew Wenger has been good, but he appears to have peaked against FC Dallas in week two. Giles Barnes is the best player on the team, but he has had no service because Maidana isn't in the lineup.
Not that the Argentine necessarily should be in the lineup, because he makes absolutely no defensive efforts, but one thing on Coyle's agenda has to be finding someone to get the ball to Barnes. He's their only attacking bright spot, and he's going to be gone for a portion of the summer due to the Copa America.
That's only one of the many problems Coyle has to solve. He deserves a chance to solve them, but if he doesn't start producing results in the next two or three games, I think it's time for him to be fired.
The Dynamo are in trouble no matter what, and not just because of all the problems with the lineup. A recent MLSsoccer.com article highlighted the difficulties teams have had with slow starts in the past, in terms of statistics. Here's an excerpt from that (written prior to the RSL game):
Going back to 2011, there have been 28 teams that have not hit eight points through seven games. Of those 28 teams, only three have made the playoffs. . . . Despite expanding the playoffs in 2015 from five to six teams per conference, the four teams that had fewer that eight points failed to make the playoffs.
The Dynamo fell into both of the above categories, and have only gotten worse since then.
They are in real danger of falling out of the playoff race. I hesitate to say this in May (because this is MLS and anything can happen) but it will hold true if they don't get their act together, and they have shown no signs of doing that recently.
I'm struggling to locate the positives with this team. They find a way to lose every game. The Houston Dynamo are genuinely in trouble, and I don't know what will save them.