As preseason comes to an end, and the regular season arrives, there are many new faces on the Houston Dynamo roster, and some old ones that may have changed their style of play for the upcoming season. Over the next few days, Keeper Notes will go down the roster and analyze what each player brings to the table, all of it leading up to a potential starting line-up for opening day against New England.
Tyler Deric: After having had a breakout season in 2015 as the official starting goalkeeper for the Dynamo, he looks to keep on improving in 2016. Deric has emerged as one of the top shot-stoppers within Major League Soccer, and his win streak of three MLS Save of the Week awards between weeks two and four is the fourth best Houston streak in sports history. The only more impressive streaks are the Houston Dynamo 37 home game undefeated streak, twenty-two game win streak by the Houston Rocket, and the twenty-one WrestleMania win streak of Houston’s own, the Undertaker.
The only concern last season with Deric was the same issue former goalkeeper Tally Hall also suffered from; ball distribution. While it may not affect Deric as much as it did Hall, it is an issue that if resolved would allow the Houston Dynamo to come out attacking from the back more frequently. Even with this negative, nothing suggests that Tyler Deric will have any dip in form. After training with West Ham United F.C., he may actually have yet another breakout season in 2016.
Joe Willis: Joe Willis would be a contender for the starting goalkeeper spot in almost any other team in Major League Soccer. That is not to say that he has not made any noise for the spot here in Houston. However, to his detriment the Dynamo currently have Tyler Deric.
Willis is a slightly than better shot-stopper with decent distrubution. His problem lies in communication with the defense. There were many moments of miscommunication during preseason between Willis and the backline that either led to a goal, corner kick, or that required a defender to scramble in order to make a dangerous save in the box. As a number two goalkeeper for the team, however, the Dynamo could not ask for anybody better.
Calle Brown: Newly arrived goalkeeper Calle Brown should probably not worry Joe Willis or Tyler Deric. He was signed in December of 2015 after spending last season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL. During his stint with the Riverhounds last season, he recorded 5 shutouts, and allowed sixteen goals in fourteen games.
While he has proven to be a decent overall goalkeeper, his lack of experience his biggest issue. Sometimes during games, he seems to not know where to distribute the ball or how to handle certain situations. At only twenty-three years of age, he still has time for major improvements.
It will come as no surprise if he is sent down to Rio Grande Valley FC for more real game experience, and develops quickly under an experienced goalkeeping coach in Paul Rodgers when does train with the first team in Houston. Brown should be seen a project or at the very least part of the ever rotating door of third string goalkeepers.
Projected Starters: Tyler Deric during league games, Joe Willis during U.S. Open Cup