MLS Regular Season

Scouting MLS-protected players in college

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


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 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


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

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’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


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


Photo Credit: 
Courtesy Nigel Brooks

Dynamo forward Brian Ching's sensational bicycle kick was left off the initial list for'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?

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.

Dynamo must address defensive woes

Houston went from stingy to sloppy during 2010
Dynamo's defensive woes

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.”

Kinnear wants to retain all three keepers

Houston coach prefers to convince Onstad to play on, keep backups
Kinnear wants all 3 GKs


Photo Credit: 
Drew Hallowell / Getty Images

Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear remains tight-lipped about the team’s season-ending player meetings and his plans for 2011. But as he mulls over his roster deciding which players to keep for next year and travels the globe in search of reinforcements, the one position Kinnear hopes will remain status quo is the men in nets.

“We’re not in the market for a goalkeeper right now,” said Kinnear. “Pat [Onstad] was as consistent as ever, Tally [Hall], when he got a chance, played well, and Tyler [Deric] showed at the end that he has the potential to be ready to play.”

Kinnear, coaches embark on scouting trips

Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Caribbean among destinations
Kinnear, coaches to take trips


Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Frequent flier accounts for the Dynamo coaching staff are seeing
plenty of action this month, as the organization steps up its effort to find
talent for the 2011 season. Trips are scheduled to several different
continents, with more in the works, and that’s in addition to a heavy slate of
college scouting. There’s work to be done.

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