In the 2022 player preview series, we are going to look at the current players on the Dynamo roster, how they performed last season, and what we might expect from them in 2022. Here is the next in our series and stay tuned for more to come leading up to the start of the season.
Position – Goalkeeper
2021 MLS Stats – 28 appearances, 32 goals conceded, 9 clean sheets
Unlike the season that the Houston Dynamo endured in 2021, Steve Clark found much more success making it all the way to the MLS Cup Final with the Portland Timbers. Clark and the Timbers started the season slowly before finding their rhythm in late August. In that run, Clark went tallied 6 clean sheets. Steve was crucial in the Timbers playoff run where his 17 saves helped put up another 2 clean sheets and helped the team make the final against New York City FC. There was a lot of chatter on social media regarding his actions, or lack of actions, on Taty Castellanos’ goal in regular time, however, that was a difficult save to be made. Clark made a save during the penalty shootout, but it wasn’t enough for Portland to win the cup final.
With the season coming to an end, Clark made it clear in interviews that he knew his time as a Timber was done. He was in search of a new challenge and if going from a title contender to a wooden spoon contender isn’t a challenge than what is? General manager Pat Onstad and Steve Clark have history together as they both spent time together with the Columbus Crew. Onstad was an assistant and Clark the starting goalkeeper there for a few years. This helped make the acquisition of Clark as a free agent to Houston a no brainer.
Clark, 35, will come into his first season with the Dynamo as the undisputed starting goalkeeper. His experience and level of talent is something that the team has lacked since probably Pat Onstad himself played for the club. This is saying a lot since Houston has had its share of very good keepers like Tally Hall, Tyler Deric, and Joe Willis, to name a few. Coach Paulo Nagamura will hope to build back that identity of a winner that Houston has lost in the last decade, starting by bringing in proven winners like Clark. Consistently being a playoff contender is something that Steve has under his belt. Surely, his leadership will bring stability to the defense as the season goes along and the team can get much needed clean sheets, especially at home. With Clark as the team’s number one in between the posts, Houston looks to be in very safe hands.