MLS Regular Season
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
If there’s one issue the Houston Dynamo must address first in this offseason, it’s turning around the team’s defensive record.
Houston went from leading MLS in goals conceded in each of the last three years to suddenly conceding the second-most goals in the regular season in 2010.
“I don’t see us as a poor defensive team, but the record says something else, and it’s been mistakes by committee,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “A lot of the goals we’ve given up this year were very avoidable. … I think it boils down to a lack of communication and lack of concentration.”