It’s hard to believe that it’s been 14 years since the city of Houston landed the Dynamo. In that time the team has gone on to win a pair of MLS Championships in four Cup appearances total, a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, and has made fans a lot of memories to be fond of. Sure, there have been bad times – especially recently – but the team’s successes have forged legacies.
Soccer is a team game first and foremost, but the individual talents of a player often propel them to being remembered above others. Jersey numbers in soccer often hold meaning tied to a position. For example, someone that’s got the qualities of a number 9 is typically a center forward. Someone that’s deployed as a defensive midfielder is usually a number 6. Players that we consider to be legends have taken their jersey number and made it their own. Here are a few jersey numbers that are tied to Houston Dynamo players.
Number 7, DaMarcus Beasley
There have been a number of players before Beasley that have worn the #7 shirt including Chris Wondolowski, Luis Angel Landin, Colin Clark (RIP), and Omar Cummings, but the player that made it his own was the US Men’s National Team legend himself, DaMarcus Beasley.
Upon his arrival in Houston, Beasley quickly established himself as one of the best left backs in MLS which helped him earn two All-Star nods and two Dynamo Defensive Player of the Year awards. His speed and intelligence helped keep pace with some of the quickest players even though Beasley finished his career in Houston. One of his best moments came in CONCACAF Champions League when he scored in the 84th minute on the road at CD Guastatoya.
Number 13, Ricardo Clark
The number currently donned by Christian Ramirez, the 13 shirt has long been tied to Ricardo Clark for both his stints with the Houston Dynamo. Ramirez has done well in his short time, but the next time you see an orange Dynamo kit with a 13 on the back, above it’ll likely read Clark.
Clark was primarily a defensive midfielder who read the game very well. He wasn’t the most physical of defensive mids out there, but his ability to anticipate passes, see runs, and yes make well timed challenges made him one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS. Offensively he was a quick distributor and could score a banger from distance which he was good at.
Clark may be best remembered for his violent action against FC Dallas player Carlos Ruiz and receiving the then highest suspension in the league, but he could also smash goals against our rivals like this one:
Number 27, Oscar Boniek Garcia
El Presidente is the only player on this list that is currently still playing with the Dynamo, but he has cemented himself as one of the club’s most reliable and versatile midfielders in the club’s history as he’s made the fourth most appearances and was a designated player. There have been players that have worn the #27 shirt in the past, but never longer than a season including Nate Jaqua and the incredibly interesting Koke (seriously just Google Koke Pardo). However, whenever Boniek departs from the Dynamo, the 27 shirt will be tied to him.
Boniek is a highly technical player capable of dribbling through opponents in tight spaces, passing the ball accurately due to his terrific vision, and connecting the defenders to the offense. Boniek has never been a huge force on the defensive end, but he hasn’t been a liability there either while occasionally coming up with big stops. Boniek isn’t a volume goal scorer, but when he does score he celebrates with hands down the best smile in Dynamo history.
Number 11, Brad Davis
The runner up in our gigantic bracket of best players in Dynamo history, Brad Davis will go down as one of the best midfielders in MLS history. You don’t get called the left footed David Beckham if you aren’t. Davis was a 6 time All-Star, a MVP runner-up – which he lost out to former teammate Dwayne De Rosario – and has the 3rd most assists in league history. Andrew Wenger is the only other player to have put the 11 shirt on other than Davis, and to be honest it felt a little weird and I was a big fan of Wenger. Wenger did well in his time with the Dynamo, but those are big shoes to fill.
Davis just had terrific vision to set up his teammates which is why he had as many assists as he did. He also was a set piece master which gave Dynamo fans confidence on any corner, any penalty, and really any dead ball situation inside the opponent’s half of the field. He could score goals with flair and while his speed waned during the latter part of his career, he made up for it with the way he helped the Dynamo possess and score. There are lots of great Brad Davis moments, but here is the one when he opened the scoring at BBVA Stadium.
Number 25, Brian Ching
The quintessential Houston Dynamo number is of course 25. I mean Brian Ching named a bar with an indoor pitch in it after his iconic number. When Tomás Martínez first arrived and put on the number 25, people were uneasy about it and thought the Dynamo should retire the number altogether. It’s no wonder the player that finished first in our greatest players bracket wraps up this list.
Brian Ching was never the fastest player, but he was strong and intelligent about his movements, somehow always getting his body to be in the right place at the right time to score. He was a classic target man who held the ball up well and was great at being one of Brad Davis’s targets to head the ball in or do a fantastic bicycle kick to get the ball in.
The Dynamo may very well never retire a jersey number, but if they did #25 would be the very first number to get that treatment. Here’s a collection of the incredible goals Ching has scored.
The success, the tenure, and great moments helped tie these players to their jersey numbers, but there are a whole lot more that we could have included. What are some of your favorite moments from the players listed, but also who got left off? Let us know in the comments below!