The Tab Ramos era in Houston officially began Monday as the Houston Dynamo practiced for the first time under their new coach’s tutelage. A strong 90 minute training session ensued under a bright sunny sky and a brisk wind blowing across the pitch at Houston Sports Park.
While Ramos concluded an energetic and enthusiastic practice, General Manager Matt Jordan met with the media. Amid a variety of questions from the media ensemble, Jordan had the following to say about the team’s objectives, roster, and new goalkeeper Marko Maric.
On the team’s objectives in 2020: “Well for us, we have outlined very clear objectives. We want to qualify for the playoff and compete to win the championship. That’s what gets us out of bed every morning and that’s what motivates us. We feel we have a team and a roster that could compete with anyone in Major League Soccer. A big offseason objective of ours was to get younger. And we feel we accomplished that, getting younger in each of our lines throughout the team.”
On additional changes to the Dynamo roster: “We’re always looking to add new players. The work is never done. We are very happy with how the offseason went. Adding Darwin Quintero was a big addition in this offseason. Then Marko Maric, who we just purchased from Hoffenheim, we think is going to be a big addition to the team. Trades for Victor Cabrera and Zarek Valentin, as well as signing Marcelo Palomino – a local homegrown player from our Academy. So, we are really pleased with how this offseason went. There’s just a lot of good energy and excitement around the club right now.”
On new goalkeeper Marko Maric: “Well, with Marko – what we really like about him is that he has an incredible presence, great mentality, he’s a very good shot stopper and that commanding presence is where we felt we had to strengthen in goal. So, we are really pleased to have him. We are working through some Visa details and we hope to have him in the coming week.”
As these days turn to weeks and we draw nearer to opening day, more answers will become clear surrounding this season’s Dynamo. For example, will Alberth Elis be moved or will he play an integral role on Ramos’ Dynamo? Who will be up top? Will Mauro Manotas & Christian Ramirez start or will there be another combination involving Darwin Quintero and Elis? Will Maric be the Dynamo keeper that solidifies the defense? These are just a few of the questions that remain as the Dynamo ramp up their preseason.
On Saturday, January 25, the Houston Dynamo will host their annual Fan Fest. The highlight will be the Dynamo practicing in front of the fans at BBVA Stadium. In addition to the practice, fans will be able to interact with many of the players, buy Dynamo merchandise at 50% off, and participate in many family friendly activities. Voucher tickets for FanFest are available thru axs.com. Gates open at noon.