The Houston Dynamo have only gotten started in retooling their roster for the 2011 season, according to president Chris Canetti.
On a busy Friday in which the organization introduced new acquisitions Hunter Freeman, Jason Garey, Jordan Graye (who was not able to attend) and Colin Clark (who arrived last season in a deal with Colorado, but has been unable to play due to injury), the Dynamo chief said the team is “only 75 percent done, and hopefully there is more good news in the upcoming weeks and months.”
That still includes chasing a Designated Player and adding more pieces before the new season kicks off in the spring. But arguably the most important piece has been locked down in Houston, as defender-turned-midfielder Geoff Cameron will remain part of the team’s plans for the future after signing a new contract with the club through 2014.
Cameron is expected to be key to the Dynamo’s rebuilding efforts after this past season, in which they missed the playoffs for the first time since coming to Houston prior to the 2006 season. The 25-year-old’s new deal is a reward for exhibiting what Canetti describes as the Dynamo’s key values.
[inline_node:315878]“We’re loyal to people, but we also build a good culture and chemistry within, and the right guys then have the opportunity to stick around,” said Canetti. “Consistency in the senior management positions, consistency in the coaching staff, consistency with the players. Certainly you need to make changes when things aren’t right, but if you can keep a core consistency, then we think that gives you the opportunity to win, both short-term and long-term.”
Cameron fought back from a knee injury last season but, when on the field, was arguably the Dynamo’s best player. In addition to his return, Corey Ashe and Eddie Robinson – both North Carolina products – were also re-signed and will provide veteran leadership next season.
While the Dynamo players and coaches set a very high standard for themselves by winning the MLS Cup in their first two years in Houston, Canetti now hopes to guide the team forward using last year’s failures as motivation.
“Last year wasn’t the kind of year we expected to have, and it’s not the kind of year that meets our standards,” Canetti said, “So we can’t sit there and go along with something that wasn’t working. We made changes, and hopefully the changes will be appropriate. We’re doing the best to turn things around and get back to the competitive fold where hopefully we can win an MLS Cup again soon.”
With four new players preparing to make their Dynamo debuts next season, the question remains as to whether Houston will sign a DP this winter, which ownership has encouraged. Canetti echoed previous desires to sign a high-profile player, but only one that will fit within team plans.
“We’re not going to do anything that is stupid or doesn’t make sense,” Canetti said. “We are going to set aside resources to get a Designated Player, but we are not going to do anything in a knee-jerk reaction. We are going to make sure that if the right guy comes along, we are going to be in a position to act on it, but we are not going to act on something that does not necessarily make sense.”