The Houston Dynamo opened the Tab Ramos era in Houston this past week. The week kicked off with an energetic day that highlighted all the reasons for fans to be optimistic. It was a day in which General Manager Matt Jordan said the work is never done and stated the club will look for ways to continue to improve the club.
By Friday, Jordan, true to his word, had indeed strengthened the team with the addition of goalkeeper Cody Cropper. Cropper’s signing comes on the heels of last week’s big signing of goalkeeper Marko Maric. This was a really strong signing for the Dynamo. Cropper cut his teeth in English soccer playing with Ipswich Town and Southampton before moving on to MK Dons. He then joined the New England Revolution in 2016 and was named the starter in 2017, posting six clean sheets, nearly leading New England to a playoff berth. He would only play sporadically over the next two seasons. He started nine games in 2019 on loan to USL side Hartford.
Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos knows Cropper well. As the first choice keeper, he helped lead the 2013 U-20 team to a runner-up finish in the CONCACAF U-20 Championships and was part of the FIFA U-20 World Cup team. In 2015, Cropper anchored the US team to a third place finish in the Toulon Tournament. He was also a part of the 2018 U-23 team at the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL Olympic playoff.
What the signing does for young goalkeeper Michael Nelson’s future remains to be seen.
A day after the Cropper signing, Houston hosted the annual Dynamo Fan Fest at BBVA Stadium. It was a day that saw throngs of fans watch a Dynamo practice up close and personal, gain cherished autographs, and have interactions with various players.
The Houston Dash had a week nearly as busy as the Houston Dynamo. In a coupe of big moves, the team made a concerted effort to strengthen the biggest weaknesses on the team, signing two more experienced and notable players.
After waiving Lindsay Agnew and Jazmin Jackmon, the Dash announced the acquisition of defender Erin Simon from English side West Ham United for allocation money. Simon spent two years with Sky Blue FC earning a roster spot after an open tryout and impressive preseason. The Syracuse alum started 25 of 26 games with Sky Blue. Simon was an integral part of West Ham’s run to the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final in 2019.
One day later, the club added former Dash defender Megan Crosson. After four NWSL games in 2016 for Houston, she took her career overseas in Japan’s Speranza FC, Spain’s UDG Tenerife and Lithuania’s Gintra Universitetas from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, she returned to the NWSL with the Washington Spirit.
In other Dash news, goalkeeper Bianca Henninger announced her retirement from the game after eight seasons. Henninger was one the original Dash members and was always willing to share her time and talent with younger players and fans alike. We wish her well in the future.