Following the Sporting KC and Houston Dynamo match, the post-game press conference had quite possibly its most entertaining exchange (listen to audio below).
Houston Chronicle reporter Jesus Ortiz asked, “Owen, what do you think you could have done differently to help your team secure a two goal lead with 26 minutes to go? Do you think it hurt you to take Will Bruin out?”
Dynamo Head Coach Owen Coyle took issue with the question and asked Ortiz whether he watched the game and later implored Ortiz to make sure your questions are reasonable.
The question was not unreasonable. The decision to pull Bruin did change the game to some degree. The better question though may have been why not bring in Luis Garrido instead of going like for like and choosing Hoffman? Or possibly even consider pulling Giles Barnes first who had absorbed several rough fouls in the first sixty minutes.
There are three important notes prior to listening to the audio. First, I am still formally the FanBlogger covering the Houston Dynamo for Chron.com. While I do not consider myself biased, it is a slight conflict despite how infrequently I may write for Chron.com.
Second, Ortiz was serving as the pool reporter assigned to ask questions to the match official. As a result, he got pulled out of the press conference immediately preceding its start and only had the limited time Coyle and Giles Barnes were commenting about the game to decide how he wanted to word his question.
Finally, Ortiz may have generated some controversy this week with his article about Will Bruin. Bruin has not received as much playing time as he received under Dom Kinnear with Coyle’s change of formation being a point of contention. Ortiz asked Coyle whether Bruin had asked for a trade and reading between the lines, that may have generated a little tension. Further, it is not uncommon for reporters who have written stories earlier in the week to follow-up on their own story lines.
Initially, I thought the question may have not been worded well and that set Coyle off. After reading the question and listening again to the audio, it seemed readily apparent that Ortiz did not ask a poor question. Instead, Coyle overreacted.
While the passion to win is great and the overreaction ranks low on the all-time list of coaches taking their frustrations out on the media, Coyle will likely admit he could have handled the question better. In fact, his simple explanation at the end that Bruin had just run his socks off was non-controversial and a valid point.
Here is the audio of the relevant portions of the press conference. Do you agree? Was Ortiz’s question reasonable? Did Coyle overreact?
Dwain Capodice is a freelance writer covering the Houston Dynamo and the US National Team for Keeper Notes and also serves as the Fan Blogger covering soccer at Chron.com. He can be reached on twitter @dcapodice or via email at email@example.com.