It’s hard to read any Houston Dynamo related tweet, Facebook post, Reddit discussion, or Bigsoccer thread and not believe the end of days is upon us. Worst start to the season ever and Frustrating Rants galore.
The pressure appears to be mounting on everyone in Orange. As these are not the results we are looking for, please allow this David Horst video to distract you from all that pains you. Seriously though, the edict has come down from Chris Canetti that “it’s time to get results.”
So what can Owen Coyle do to turn things around? Here are some options, the Houston Dynamo should consider to mix things up:
It should be noted in advance that some of these ideas are coming from a fan base where very few have any sort of decent ‘soccer’ knowledge.***
- Cubo Torres and Cristian Maidana start – If there is one request from Dynamo fans, whether casual fans or hardcore fans, it is for the team to start it’s Designated Player along with the fulcrum of its offense. It doesn’t matter who starts on the wings with them, give them a full ninety minutes and see what happens.
- Raul Rodriguez at Right Back – Jalil Anibaba and Sheanon Williams have struggled to solidify the right side of the Houston defense. An argument can be made that David Horst’s play, though inconsistent, has been slightly better in central defense. Raul Rodriguez played sufficiently at right back at times last year which may be better than the play you have gotten from Anibaba and to a lesser extent Williams this year. There is no doubt that the team would lose some “attack” from the right, but if Rodriguez stays home more often then Beasley may be freed up to push forward on the left. If this does work, Houston could even try a three man back-line in the future.
- Zach Steinberger Next to Ricardo Clark – Some might advocate for Boniek Garcia to start next to Clark, but in the first eight games a few Boniek Garcia turnovers led directly to a goal or dangerous chances. It would be a risk to bring a player creating those turnovers closer to the defense. Forgotten now, but Zach Steinberger played well in the preseason and showed real improvement coming off his loan last year to Indy XI. Maybe a set of young legs next to Ricardo Clark could help stabilize the team’s shaky midfield?
- Andrew Wenger not starting – After his scorching two goals and two assists in two
games start to the season, Wenger has failed to notch a goal or an assist in his last six games. That is not to say he has played poorly over that stretch, just that Houston needs more productivity out of the position. Trying a different option in attack can’t hurt. The counterpoint would be that he may have had to spend too much time on the defensive end due to Houston’s struggles at right back and if the second option above is used; Wenger may be freed up to be more productive offensively.
- Utilize Two Forwards – It’s been mind-boggling the lack of playing time for Cubo Torres and Mauro Manotas after leading the team in scoring in preseason. 46 and 52 minutes combined over eight games for your two leading scorers in preseason doesn’t exactly reflect an open competition, especially with Manotas contributing to goals like this at Rio Grande Valley FC. Houston’s attack was scorching hot to start the season, but has slowed with only three goals in the last five games. Maybe Owen Coyle can throw some caution to the wind and start two forwards once with two of the next three games at home.
Some of these ideas may not work. Some may be dumb or fail dramatically – but the current team lineup, formation, and tactics are not working. So what’s the harm in trying something different?
*** If you don’t get the reference, feel free to email me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.