The Houston Dynamo announced last week that they had traded for the versatile defender and midfielder Marlon Hairston from the Colorado Rapids. In exchange for Hairston, the Dynamo will send $125,000 in General Allocation Money in 2019 and another $50,000 in 2020.
The Dynamo have been committed this offseason to reinforcing areas that needed help last season after missing the playoffs. They signed Matías Vera to backup or partner with the 2017 team MVP Juan David Cabezas in central midfield while bringing in a veteran center back from Palermo in Aljaž Struna. They’ve added Chris Duvall in a trade with the Montreal Impact who will provide some depth for A.J. DeLaGarza at right back. The club selected Tommy McNamara in the Re-Entry Draft. McNamara is another versatile offensive player who could see time on the wings.
We wanted to know a little more about Hairston so we spoke with former Burgundy Wave contributor John Patrick Rosch to learn more about the Dynamo’s newest acquisition.
Dynamo Theory: Marlon Hairston is a versatile player capable of playing as a right full back, midfielder, or even as a winger. Where did he excel most with the Rapids and is he reliable in other positions as well?
John Patrick Rosch: That is a great question, and it is one of the hallmarks of his career in Burgundy: he literally could play anywhere. Marlon did not start as a defender when he was drafted out of Louisville. He was definitely a midfielder, but in his first year with the Rapids, it was also Pablo Mastroeni’s first year. For as much as Hairston was learning MLS, Pablo was also learning to coach. This meant that Hairston played all over the pitch and did not fully settle in to one role on the team. But he really excelled in roles where his speed could be used and he could dart up the wing.
DT: There’s some excitement about Hairston coming to Houston already. How was he received in Colorado on and off the pitch?
JPR: Fans loved Hairston and his work ethic. You never heard him publicly complain about the team (and there was a lot to complain about in many of his years) and he always gave a solid effort, despite how things were going on the pitch. One of the things that Rapids supporters value over anything else is effort. We have had our fair share of players who may have been more technically gifted, but did not give the effort. Hairston always seemed to give it everything he had for as long as he was out there. The Dynamo got a player who really works his tail off and will truly fit on the field with what Houston is trying to do.
DT: Do you have a favorite Marlon Hairston moment?
JPR: I think my favorite moment had to be his goal against the Galaxy in 2014. First off, it was a game that featured 7 total goals (a 4-3 loss to LA at home) and Hairston showed the kind of speed that would make him a popular figured in Colorado.
DT: Lastly, about the Rapids, where do you want the Rapids front office to invest the General Allocation Money they received in the trade?
JPR: Well, some of the money they got in the Hairston trade was sent to Chicago Fire to move up to number 5 to pick forward Andre Shinyashiki from the University of Denver. The amount was $100K but the FO feels good about the pickup of Shinyashiki and with some of the other moves that have been made this off-season, there is actual optimism in Denver for the Rapids.
So what do you think of the signing and where do you think Hairston will fit best Dynamo fans? Let us know in the comment section below.