I for one was excited when it was announced Owen Coyle was coming to MLS to manage the Houston Dynamo. The former English Premier League manager is an energetic personality with an infectious enthusiasm for the game who has brought success to teams on limited budgets in the past -- and is well-respected by the likes of Robbie Keane. And who doesn't enjoy a warm Scottish brogue?
In my pre season questionnaire, I pegged the Dynamo to make the playoffs.
However, the team hasn't gotten off to the best start. To help me better understand what's going on down in Houston, I spoke with Dynamo Theory editor Derek Stowers.
LAG Confidential: It's a big year for the Dynamo, with Owen Coyle taking over the reins from Dominic Kinnear, Cubo Torres' impending arrival, the Raul Rodriguez signing, etc. What do the Dynamo have to accomplish for this season to be considered a success?
Dynamo Theory: Houston fans are used to the team making the playoffs and doing well there. Missing the playoffs last season left some (closer to all actually) Dynamo fans sour. For the season to be considered a success we really have to get back to the playoffs, even if it is a tall order Western Conference.
LAG Confidential: With just one goal in two home matches, should Dynamo fans be worried about the lack of offensive production?
Dynamo Theory: Worried isn't the word I would use, but rather concerned. Columbus Crew SC likes to possess and will be a good team and Orlando City SC had numbers back defensively which made it difficult for the Dynamo to break down. That being said the team is struggling to connect its midfield with the forwards and the team hasn't looked quite as creative as they should considering the talent they have in midfield.
As it stands, the team is still adapting from the Dominic Kinnear style to the new Owen Coyle way. OC prefers a more creative and possession based approach to his tactics while Kinnear liked a more direct and physical style that often relied on counter attacks. As the team adjusts to OC's way, the goals will come.
LAG Confidential: What's going on with USMNT midfielder Brad Davis? He hasn't looked himself the first few games.
Dynamo Theory: Brad Davis isn't playing poorly this year, but I think a lot of the problems he's having are reminiscent of the team's inability to create chances for themselves. Our forward group has not supported the midfield well which makes the offensive efforts of the midfield seem diminished. Additionally, Davis picked up a small injury in the final preseason game and while he likely isn't feeling the effects of it, it's still something Dynamo fans are speculating about.
Predicted lineup: G Tyler Deric, D Jermaine Taylor, D David Horst*, D Kofi Sarkodie, M Ricardo Clark, M Luis Garrido, M Leonel Miranda, F Oscar Boniek Garcia, F Giles Barnes
*If Raul Rodriguez is healthy, he'll start over Horst
** Kind of a toss up between Miranda or Will Bruin starting. If Bruin starts, Boniek will play right mid