MLS Regular Season

2010 in Review: Dynamo offseason checklist

Stadium progress, big roster changes make for busy winter
Houston offseason checklist
MLSsoccer.com

This offseason should be the busiest one to date for the Houston Dynamo. Off the field, the team will work on breaking ground on its new stadium and completing its training facility. On the player side, the Dynamo will be making extensive changes to their roster, including preparing for an eventual designated player. Here is a checklist of several items to keep an eye on in this winter.

Finalize stadium deal and break ground

2010 in Review: Best & worst of Dynamo

Houston's high hopes dashed by departures, injuries
2010 review: Houston
MLSsoccer.com

To say the Houston Dynamo’s 2010 season was a disappointment may be a bit of an understatement. After a frustrating loss in the Western Conference final in 2009, the expectations were that Houston would at least compete for a playoff spot despite losing several key components in the offseason.

Draft has players feeling vulnerable

Dynamo players worry Portland coach Spencer knows roster too well
Players nervy about draft
MLSsoccer.com

When the Portland Timbers hired former Houston assistant coach John Spencer as their head coach, the Dynamo knew their former assistant would have the option to pluck an unprotected player away from his old team via the Expansion Draft.

Scouting MLS-protected players in college

First class of college seniors from Academy programs raises offseason issues
MLS-protected collegians
HoustonDynamo.com

HOU_Soto_SMU_2010_02

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy SMU

Major League Soccer announced its home-grown player
initiative in November 2006, allowing clubs exclusive rights to sign players
they developed, provided the player was registered prior to enrolling at a
four-year university or joining the U.S. U-17 national team.

MLS Expansion Draft lists announced

Nine Dynamo players made available for Wednesday's draft
Expansion Draft lists

Major League Soccer today announced the available player list for the 2010
Expansion Draft on Wednesday, November 24, at 2:00 p.m. ET.  The Portland
Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will each select 10 players during the
10-round draft. 

Representatives from all 18
MLS clubs will participate in an Expansion Draft teleconference which will be
streamed on MLSsoccer.com during a special LIVE edition
of ExtraTime Radio.  The coverage will begin at 1:45 p.m. ET.

Cruz back training with Nottingham Forest

Midfielder returns to England for second straight year
Cruz training in England
MLSsoccer.com

HOU_20100925_Dishman_5_Cruz

Photo Credit: 
Ned Dishman / Getty Images

Houston Dynamo midfielder Danny Cruz has returned to training at Nottingham Forest. The 20-year-old worked out with the English Championship side last year and cites the experience as playing a major part of his success in 2010.

“That was my secret last year — to go overseas,” Cruz before leaving for England. “It’s a different mentality, and it’s good to try something new. I went to Nottingham Forest last year, and it helped me as I don’t need the same amount of time off. Three months off and I might be pulling out my hair.”

Who Houston should protect

Cameron, Ching, Davis all obvious choices for Dynamo to shelter
Predicting the protected list
MLSsoccer.com

With the MLS Expansion Draft around the corner, it’s time for the Houston Dynamo to start thinking about which players they will choose to protect and which they will leave vulnerable to the league’s two new expansion teams, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers.

With former Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer in charge of one of the the Timbers, the Dynamo will have to be particularly careful about who they leave exposed in the draft. Here is MLSsoccer.com’s take on who Houston should protect.

Dynamo bring in hopefuls

Kinnear, staff to train potential offseason signings this week
Dynamo to host training camp
HoustonDynamo.com

HOU_20101003_Academy_Bergen

Photo Credit: 
Wilf Thorne / Houston Dynamo

With players under contract and the expansion draft still to
come, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear has been understandably reluctant to
discuss specifics of potential changes to his roster for next year.

However, some specific candidates for next year's roster will be in town this week, as
11 experienced players will join three Dynamo Academy players and three first-team players for a training camp in Dynamo orange, under the direction of the Dynamo coaching staff.

Ching bicycle kick snubbed for GOTY voting

Fans can still vote for Ching as a write-in; Palmer, Oduro are also candidates
Write inChing as Goal of Year
HoustonDynamo.com

HOU_20100821_Brooks_04_Ching

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy Nigel Brooks

Dynamo forward Brian Ching's sensational bicycle kick was left off the initial list for MLSSoccer.com's AT&T Goal of the Year Award on Tuesday, but Dynamo fans can still vote for Ching and other Houston strikes from Lovel Palmer and Dominic Oduro, with voting closing on Thursday.

Palmer and Oduro, along with 28 other Goal of the Week winners from the regular season, are listed on the voting website. There is also a write-in option, and the Dynamo are encouraging interested fans to write in "Brian Ching bicycle kick" in the 'Other' box at the bottom of the poll.

Cameron's positional dilemma at Houston

Dynamo player has excelled at center back and in the midfield
Where to put Cameron?
MLSsoccer.com

It would be a little premature to apply the expression “jack of all trades, master of none” to Geoff Cameron. 

The Dynamo do-it-all star can’t help the fact that he is gifted enough to play multiple positions
extremely well. But the question remains: Is Cameron better off sticking to one
position for the remainder of his career? 

After
Cameron finished his first full season in the center of the Houston midfield,
head coach Dominic Kinnear doesn’t feel the need to pigeon-hole the 25-year-old.

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