Matt Jordan, a former MLS-All Star goalkeeper and 13-year professional, was named vice president/GM of the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday after four years in a similar role with the Montreal Impact. Jordan and Dynamo president Chris Canetti discussed the selection and the future of the club in a conference call with local and national media this afternoon. Below are excerpts from the call.
Canetti on the selection of Matt Jordan as vice president/general manager of the Dynamo:
"As we went about the process and started talking to many candidates, it became very clear to me that Matt Jordan was the best guy for this job. Matt and I have known each other for several years and have strengthened our relationship over time. With Matt, it was quite apparent to me that we had great chemistry. It was important to me that we hired someone who had MLS background and experience. I believe we have one of the top technical minds in all of Major League Soccer and we are truly fortunate to have him on the staff."
Canetti on Jordan's new duties with the club:
"He will oversee the first team’s roster and salary cap, he will manage contract negotiations, he will establish a worldwide scouting network and will institute an aggressive scouting approach and philosophy. He will establish a methodology as to how we want to play, and will manage a strength and conditioning program, a sports science program. There is lots of work to do here, including hiring a new head coach. Matt and I will embark on that together and I really look forward to getting him to Houston, where we can roll up our sleeves and get started on what is a bright and exciting future of the Houston Dynamo."
Jordan on coming to the Dynamo and what the club represents:
"The Houston Dynamo are one of best clubs in Major League Soccer and it is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of this today. When I look at the Dynamo, it is a team that has a strong history of success, a dedicated fan base, and state-of-the-art facilities, including a downtown stadium and an excellent training facility. It also has made a strong commitment to its youth development. These are all key elements as we look to evolve the club with our new vision. When I look at the Houston Dynamo, I think of a club with players that are very hard working, a group committed to winning, a team-first approach, with strong leadership. Those are all qualities that I bring to my work every day and those factors played into it. I look at this as a great challenge and a great opportunity. I have the experience of the last four years of being in this job (in Montreal) and going through good moments and challenging moments and working with exceptional people and players."
Canetti on Jordan’s reputation within MLS:
"There is a general feeling throughout our industry that Matt is a leader, and that’s what I saw in him and continue to see in him, and I know Matt is the perfect guy for this club at this time."
Jordan’s philosophy for shaping the club:
"My philosophy for shaping this team is to implement our vision into the evolution of this club. Our focus is to put an attacking, diverse team on the field that is a reflection of the city of Houston. The landscape of soccer in North America is changing very fast. The emphasis of sports science, the use of statistics, data and analytics is a part of the new landscape. I bring the experience of an established scouting network to the table, and I bring a very methodical, systematic, hard-working approach to my work every day. The core principals of what the Dynamo stand for are who I am as a person. As Chris and I look for the next head coach, we want to find a coach that fits the Dynamo Way, but also embraces the evolution and new vision of our club."
Jordan’s enthusiasm for player development:
"Youth development, including starting USL Pro franchises under MLS clubs, is something I wholeheartedly believe in. I led the (USL Pro) initiative with the Montreal Impact, and now, with the Dynamo it is something I am very excited about."
On the search for the next head coach:
“It is a collaboration between Chris and myself. The most important thing for me is we find a coach who fits who we are and what we stand for as a club. That is imperative. It is remarkable what the Dynamo have been able to accomplish in nine short years, and that is a big reason why I am ready for the challenge of this job."
State of the Dynamo roster entering the 2015 season:
"I can tell you from competing against the Dynamo, there are a lot of very talented pieces on the team right now that we feel good about. The foundation is very strong, but we don’t want to be complacent. We want to improve the team and we are going to take a logical and methodical approach to that."
Experience with signing foreign players:
"Each market has its own unique elements. Both markets are very diverse, and the key is to work together to get players who are a reflection of Houston and the makeup of our fan base. I was a part of the process of bringing players like Ignacio Piatti, Hernan Bernardello and Andres Romero, three South American players, to the Impact. I was also part of the process to bring Alessando Nesta and Marco Di Vaio to Montreal. Here, we are committed to winning, and we want to do whatever we can to put a winning product on the field that is a reflection of the city."