Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Houston moves another piece in post-DeRo era
by Ridge Mahoney, January 27th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Tough times are rare but not unknown for the Dynamo; as such, its players and coaches are doing what they have done for years when beset by setbacks. They look ahead, and move on.

Coach Dominic Kinnear moved another piece into place Monday with the re-signing of defender Bobby Boswell, which freed Kinnear to trade Pat Ianni to Seattle for a 2010 draft pick. Last Friday, Houston announced the signing of former San Diego State goalkeeper Tally Hall, who bypassed MLS to play two seasons with Danish club Esbjerg and has returned as a discovery player.

"I liked him when I saw him in college," Kinnear said in a press release. "I always thought he was a goalkeeper who could play in this league and be an asset to a team. When we heard he might be available, we felt it could be the right fit.

"We're very happy to have Bobby coming back. We had the best defense in the league [32 goals allowed] last year, and he was a big part of that. We feel defense is a big part of winning championships, and having Bobby in there will help us make a run at another title."

A stunning loss to New York in the MLS playoffs last November dethroned the two-time defending champion, which shook off that disappointment and, three days after MLS Cup, secured passage to the Concacaf Champions' League quarterfinals by winning a must-win game against Salvadoran club Luis Angel Firpo.

That same day, as had been expected, Seattle claimed forward Nate Jaqua in the expansion draft, which was just a prelude to what occurred a few weeks later when there came official confirmation of a trade: talismanic attacker Dwayne De Rosario to Toronto FC.

In his eight MLS seasons with San Jose and Houston, he helped those teams win four MLS Cups with electrifying dribbles and spectacular goals. He played 186 games, scored 51 goals, and registered 42 assists.

His departure leaves a large hole that Kinnear will fill by committee, not simply with straight-up replacement Stuart Holden. Ricardo Clark will assume some of the burden, as will wide midfielders Brad Davis and Brian Mullan, and occasional starters Corey Ashe and Geoff Cameron. Veteran Richard Mulrooney played a lot of right back last year, but he gives Kinnear yet another option in the middle alongside Clark, which could move Holden to a wide role at times.

"Holden is going to be holding down that position, but we have a very team-oriented style of play, from the goalies to the forwards in the front line," said Clark, who is one of several Houston players who will miss MLS matches to play for the USA. "Everybody contributes in their own way."

In return for De Rosario, Kinnear obtained defender Julius James and a chunk of allocation money. James, drafted in the first round by TFC last year, will compete with Boswell and another veteran, Eddie Robinson, for playing time in the middle. In his three pro seasons since being drafted out of UCLA, Ianni played well at times, but too often left himself stranded by poor decisions or poor positioning, and lacked the pace to make up ground when he had to.

Dark forecasts for the Dynamo fortunes this season ignore a few facts: Houston lost just five of 30 league matches (13-5-12) last year and on any other day would have beaten New York in the conference semifinals second leg instead of losing, 3-0, to an incredible goalkeeping display by Danny Cepero.

Over the past three seasons, while winning two league titles and reaching the Concacaf semifinals once and SuperLiga final once, it has won games with and without De Rosario. And no longer will Kinnear have to cover for De Rosario playing with Canada.

"Dwayne's a great player, has done great things for the league and the teams he's played for in big-time situations," said Clark, De Rosario's frequent midfield partner since their days with the original MLS Quakes, starting in 2005. "His style of play can't be reproduced. But every year the Houston Dynamo has lost players throughout the year, whether it be to injuries or national team games or whatever. The depth on the team has shined with players stepping up. That's just one more thing I expect this year."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Kljestan and Boyd get first goals    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Sacha Kljestan, whose short-term move to MLS over the summer was thwarted, finally got ...
Zakuani makes 'most difficult decision' in his life    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] At the age of 26, Steve Zakuani is retiring from soccer, his career never ...
Crew lines up young Swede for 2015 campaign    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The Columbus Crew is about to enter the playoffs for the first time under ...
Red Bulls are rolling, Sporting KC is reeling    
[MLS PLAYOFF PREVIEW] Sporting Kansas City starts off defense of its 2013 MLS Cup title Thursday ...
Controversial call sends FC Dallas into next round    
[MLS PLAYOFFS] One game into the 2014 MLS playoffs and already the postseason is roiled by ...
You won't believe he missed from there    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Napoli's Jose Callejon demonstrates how to miss an open net from ...
What They're Saying: Jermain Defoe    
"It was hurtful. In England, at all the clubs I've played for, no one ever said ...
An own goal worthy of dance celebration?    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Less than two minutes after kickoff in this Kenyan Premier League ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 33] Seattle closed out the regular season atop the Soccer America Power Rankings by ...
FIFA introduces official logo    
[WORLD CUP 2018] FIFA and World Cup 2018 organizers introduced the official logo for the tournament ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives