Since the end of a disappointing season, the Houston Dynamo have talked about the evolution of the club.
And Tuesday they unveiled one of the men that will attempt to lead them in that process.
Matt Jordan will join the club as its first vice president and general manager. His task will be to revamp the soccer side of the operation from introducing data analytics to reshaping the club’s roster after an eighth-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Speaking with Houston media for the first time via conference call Tuesday, Jordan put the emphasis on playing an attractive brand of soccer.
“Our focus, and my focus, is going to be to bring an attacking and very diverse group to the field,” Jordan said. “I think the key is we work together that get pieces in place that are a reflection of our market, our city and our fan base.”
Part of that change will be integrating a soccer analytics approach into the club’s philosophy and using an established scouting network to refresh the roster. Closer to home, the club will be working through the club’s current roster to help shape next year’s team.
The Dynamo and Jordan will have tough choices to make as many of their current players have club options waiting to be picked up or declined.
“I can tell you there’s a lot of very talented and very good pieces on that team right now that we feel very good about,” Jordan said. “At the end of the day, it’s important to have players on the field that are committed to winning. It’s a critical period right now. We’re going to make the best decisions for the club moving forward.”
According to Dynamo president Chris Canetti, the pair will work through the club’s roster decisions in the coming weeks.
Reshaping the roster is just part of the equation for transforming Houston’s soccer approach. Jordan also will work with Canetti to look for the club’s next head coach.
“The most important thing to me is we find a coach that fits who we are as a club,” Jordan said. “For me and for us it’s imperative we find a coach that fits who we are and what we stand for, but also shares the same vision of evolution and our thoughts about moving forward.”
Jordan, who leaves the role of technical director for the Montreal Impact, comes to Houston with experience in global scouting, player development and knowledge of the way things work in MLS.
He played a role in the negotiations that yielded big names on the field, none more so than Marco Di Vaio, but little success results-wise. Jordan also played a role in a contentious point in Dynamo history, when Montreal selected Brian Ching in the 2011 Expansion Draft and sparked a three-month saga that ultimately ended in him being traded back to the Dynamo.
Those factors, however, fell by the wayside as Canetti was adamant the club got their man.
“We got the best guy in MLS for this job,” Canetti said. “There’s a general feeling throughout our industry that Matt’s a leader in what he does. That’s what I saw in him … and I know he’s the perfect guy for this club at this time to do exactly what we want to do.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.