Thursday, March 8, 2012

MLS2012: Houston Dynamo

We're headed back to Texas to scope out MLS's hottest bridesmaids, the 2011 MLS Cup Runner-Up Houston Dynamo.




Home Stadium: BBVA Compass Stadium - Houston, Texas



KEY LOSSES:
Hunter Freeman (D/M) - Colorado
Eddie Robinson (D) - Retired
Danny Cruz (M) - DC United

MAJOR ADDITIONS:
Nathan Sturgis (M) - from Toronto FC
Macoumba Kandji (F) - from Colorado





Player to Watch:
GEOFF CAMERON
Cameron is extremely versatile, and his move from defensive midfielder to center back last season worked brilliantly.  He is a good defender, strong on the ball, and was even tied for the team lead in goals last year (although it was a four way tie for five goals).  Cameron is a big part of Houston's success, and has played his way onto the national team radar because of it.


SUPPORTER PROFILE
Houston has a few major supporters groups, the two biggest and oldest of which are the Texian Army and El Battalion.  Support has been strong since The Dynamo moved to Houston in 2005 (from San Jose), in large part because the team has been quite good.  The Texian Army and El Battalion used to stand together, but split up to opposite ends of the stadium a couple years ago.  Although it hurt them a bit at first, there is now raucous support from all angles in Houston.


2012 OUTLOOK
Houston struggled a bit during 2011, but ended up securing second place in the weak Eastern Conference before making it all the way to the MLS Cup Finals, which they lost to LA.  Even when it seems like he doesn't have much to work with, head coach Domin Kinnear usually manages to make his team a contender, and this year will be no different.  A core of Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis (who picked up 16 assists last year), and Brian Ching (who returned from a brief spell at Montreal during the offseason) is nothing to sneeze at, and there are some decent pieces around this group as well.  Houston should also see a boost off the field, as they are going to be christening MLS's shiniest and newest soccer stadium this year.  The Dynamo don't have the best roster in the league, but they have strong pieces and are extremely well coached, so expect them to do well in 2012.



Dave Braneck
ONE GOAL Contributor

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