The Houston Dynamo organization are making moves this offseason much as we saw when former head coach Owen Coyle took over. How much do these moves really mean and is the franchise addressing its glaring weaknesses?
Calling all defenders
With the addition Zarek Valentin and Victor Cabrera, it appears the Houston Dynamo have put out an APB for defenders. With recent roster moves including the addition of the two backliners leaves the team with 8 defenders out of 21 roster spots. That is likely to change though as some key players are in on-going talks with the club. Cabrera, on a team which allowed 60 goals last season, was handcuffed to the bench. What does he really bring to the table in terms of real production barring injuries or another trade? We heard the usual gobbledegook come from Dynamo VP and the architect of a team that is 53W - 72L - 45D and goal differential of -11 that Cabrera is in the prime of his career and brings an ability to compete for minutes. Are you kidding me? 23 starts and 29 appearances across the last two seasons does not imply starter in any way shape or form here in Houston. Especially after the Argentinian had 59 starts across 64 appearances in the previous three seasons. This does not sound like a player on the rise.
The disappointment of Cabrera is tempered a bit by the addition of Valentin. At least with Valentin, you have a player who not only has played head coach Tab Ramos’ style but has recent playoff experience (2018) and 54 starts in 72 appearances over the last three seasons unlike that other player named Cabrera. Although not the best of acquisitions, I would rather take a flyer on Valentin than Cabrera.
Who mans the nets?
Joe Willis, the mainstay between the pipes during the banishment of Tyler Deric, has been shipped to the expansion club in Nashville. The move leaves the aforementioned Deric (who was on the released list of players with contracts not renewed) and Michael Nelson as the two keepers on the Dynamo roster. Deric has started sparingly since the fall of 2017 when legal troubles sidelined him from the game of soccer making this writer think that his time in Houston is probably over. Nelson is an unproven commodity, however, Houston has always had good judgement when it comes to keepers. The Katy Seven Lakes alum may very well be ready to step in and follow the tradition of Pat Onstad and Tally Hall despite not having been a member of the starting eleven and having zero MLS appearances to his career.
We back! Lets get it H-Town! pic.twitter.com/mYz8gCubeT— Christian Ramirez (@Chris_Ramirez17) November 22, 2019
Credit where credit is due
The Houston Dynamo organization valued in the neighborhood of $280 million dollars recently by Forbes.com has not in recent years played or paid out the cash to play like an organization in the black. More often, they appeared to be a team in the red. Now at least it appears, the purse strings might be loosening a bit and something really big could be in the works. If not, no need to keep Matt Jordan around after 2020. I would like to think the Dynamo have turned a corner with the hiring of Tab Ramos and if for no other reason that is reason enough to be thankful this last Thanksgiving.