It’s Thanksgiving which means it’s time to take stock of the things we have and the things we take for granted. Being a Houston Dynamo fan was very easy early on with two MLS Cups out of the gate and with playoff trips all but guaranteed, but in recent years it hasn’t been as easy. Yes we have a US Open Cup from 2018 (along with the 2019 USOC top goal scorer in Darwin Quintero), but the Dynamo have missed the playoffs five of the last six seasons. The 2017 trip saw us go to the Western Conference Finals only to miss out on playoff appearances in the following seasons. The 2019 season was fraught with drama on the field and off it with coaches coming in and out, rumors regarding Dynamo players wanting transfers out, and a not so glamorous final placement in the standings. Let’s look back at some of the things to be thankful for in 2019 and why 2020 should have Dynamo fans all smiles.
With all the negativity of last season that I described, it’s easy to forget that the Dynamo actually began the season with their best start in franchise history earning 13 points from the first 5 games. They had a very home-friendly schedule, but this was also taking place while the Dynamo competed in the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League – which also saw the Dynamo defeat CD Guastatoya in Guatemala and in Houston before falling to a difficult opponent in Tigres. It was a promising start and one we should be thankful for even though we know where the season went from then on.
One thing I want to connect from last season’s offseason and our current one which we should admire is the front office addressing needs. Last season we knew we needed depth behind Juan David Cabezas, in central defense, and behind A.J. DeLaGarza. Well they went out and acquired Matías Vera, Kiki Struna, Maynor Figueroa, and Chris Duvall. I know the last one didn’t work out great, but it at least showed an acknowledgement of where resources needed to go. In our current offseason the team is continuing to address needs head on by acquiring a coach in Tab Ramos who most of us thought was off the table due to stinginess to splash cash. We’ve also brought in Darwin Quintero and defenders Victor Cabrera and Zarek Valentin once again realizing that a lot of our problems are along the back line.
During last season the team also brought in a Mauro Manotas insurance player in Christian Ramirez which saw the two players develop an instant chemistry on the field. There is a lot of promise in our current field of players who now have the direction of a coach that can see their talent realized. There’s also a whole lot more offseason and room for moves to be made.
2019 for the Houston Dynamo wasn’t a great year, but it wasn’t all bad and 2020 looks encouraging – and it’s still a little over a month away! Happy Thanksgiving from the Dynamo Theory family to yours!