No returning MLS team has made more changes than Houston.
The Dynamo, last in the Western Conference with just seven wins in 34 games a year ago, has brought in former Chivas USA coach
from its USL farm team, Rio Grande Valley FC, as its new head coach.
He will likely start six new players, plus Erick Torres
, whom he had at Chivas USA and
who returns after a loan spell at Cruz Azul. Opening day: Projected XI --
Willis; DeLaGarza, Machado, Leonardo,
Beasley; Alex, Cabezas, Clark; Quioto, Torres, Ellis.
Torres scored 24 goals in 44 games at Chivas USA but did not score in 22 games for the Dynamo. He did not score in three games off
the bench for Cruz Azul before being sidelined with a knee injury.
If the preseason is any indication, the arrival of Cabrera, who was an assistant at the Colorado Rapids then the RGV FC
Toros head coach, could be the best thing that ever happened to Torres, whom the Dynamo had signed to a Designated Player contract. Cubo has scored five goals in 185 minutes in preseason.
"As a forward that gives you confidence," Torres after opening the Desert Diamond Cup tournament with a goal in the 2-0 win over New England Revolution. "Any time you score it motivates you."
He is pleased that he is getting scoring opportunities in a Dynamo attack that now includes Honduran internationals Alberth Elis
and Romell Quioto
offensive players, very dynamic," said Torres. "They can change the outcome of the game and we need to keep working together. We need to keep getting to know each other, so that when season arrives we
can be better."
The Dynamo just won't have a new attack. Big things are expected of Colombian Juan David Cabezas
in midfield, and newcomers A.J. DeLaGarza
, teammates on the LA Galaxy, and Panamanian Adolfo Machado
should start on the backline. Who's in ... GOALKEEPERS:
A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy, Trade), Leonardo (LA Galaxy, Re-Entry Draft), Adolfo Machado (Saprissa/CRC, Transfer), Dylan Remick (Seattle
Sounders, Re-Entry Draft). MIDFIELDERS:
Juan David Cabezas (Deportivo Cali/COL, Loan), Jose Escalante (Olimpia/HON, Loan). FORWARDS:
Alberth Elis (Monterrey/MEX, Loan),
Romell Quioto (Olimpia/HON, Transfer), Vicente Sanchez (Defensor Sporting/URU, Free Agent), Erick Torres (Cruz Azul/MEX, Loan Expired). Who's out ... GOALKEEPERS
: none. DEFENDERS:
Keyner Brown (Herediano/CRC, Loan Expired), David Horst (Real Salt Lake, MLS Free Agent),
Sebastien Ibeagha (San Antonio FC, Free Agent), Raul Rodriguez, Sheanon Williams (Vancouver Whitecaps, Trade). MIDFIELDERS:
Yair Arboleda (Loan Expired), Rob Lovejoy (Retired), Cristian Maidana
(Al Ahli/QAT, Free Agent), Abdoulie Mansally, Zach Steinberger (Jacksonville Armada, Free Agent), Collen Warner (Minnesota United, Expansion Draft). FORWARDS:
Will Bruin (Seattle Sounders,
Trade). First five games: March 4 --
Seattle Sounders March 11 --
Columbus Crew March 18
at Portland Timbers April 1 --
New York Red Bulls April 8 --
at New England Revolution