After two straight MLS Cup appearances, the Dynamo have made it clear: They want to keep the gang together and go for a third. To that effect, the team announced four contract extensions on Wedneday that they believe can put the team on course for another shot at MLS Cup.
Star midfielder and team captain Brad Davis – who signed despite not being in a contract year – joined midfielder Adam Moffat and goalkeepers Tally Hall and Tyler Deric in signing extensions that lock the quartet up for the foreseeable future.
Wrapping up three MLS Cup starters and the goalkeeper who led them through the CONCACAF Champions League group stage means the return of a core that is anxious to take the next step together.
“This is a group of guys, right here and the rest of the team, that’s had two very good runs together,” Davis told the media. “We’ve been so close the past two years … I’m definitely itching to get back and try and win another championship.
“That’s your goal every year, but bringing these guys back, and with the guys we already have under contract, I think we’re sitting in a good situation to make that happen.”
In Davis, Moffat and Hall, the Dynamo are bringing back key cogs in their championship mix. Hall is the incumbent starter in goal and Moffat and Davis – Houston’s MVP – make up half of what will likely challenge for recognition as the best midfield in MLS next season.
The trio’s signing is a unique situation, with the players having all signed their extensions during the summer. However, due to club policy, they were not announced until Thursday’s press conference.
Getting the deals out of the way early in the year gave the players a peace of mind as the club made their run at another title.
“The last thing you want to do as a player is be in playoff games or big games at the end of the year and you’re worrying about contracts or got that in the back of your mind,” Moffat remarked. “It definitely helps when you’re out at practice everyday and in games and you can give it everything you’ve got.”
While the other three were wrapped before the fall, Deric signed his deal after the season. Able to explore his options, Houston’s original Homegrown signing chose instead to re-up for another tour with the Dynamo and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley.
Thursday’s announcement takes care of many of the questions the club could have faced heading into this offseason.
“It makes a huge difference knowing we’ve got this done,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti said. “It allows [head coach Dominic Kinnear] and the technical staff to go out and focus on the other parts of the puzzle that will put us over the top as a championship team.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.