The head coaching search has begun with the announcement that Wade Barrett, the interim coach since May 25, will not be given the job.
Chris Cannetti, president of the Dynamo organization, told Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle. “It is our desire for Wade to remain with the organization. We not only value him as a person but also his contributions on the technical side.”
With the season officially over after a 1 – 1 draw in Colorado on Sunday, the chances of Barrett becoming the full time head coach were always going to be iffy at best. Barrett lead the Dynamo for 5 months, amassing a 4-7-11, never being able to get the team to out of the hole Owen Coyle left when he took the Blackburn job in England.
Under Barrett, Houston set a lot of records for the team that are lows. The fewest points-per-game, worst home record, lowest position in their conference and the league overall, and so on. Most fans agree that it isn’t entirely his fault and everyone appreciates Wade’s ability to bring sensibility and defensive toughness back to the team. The summer transfer window was uneventful as far as bringing players into the team since none of them were given much playing time.
This meant that Barrett had to do the best with what he had and, whether through lack of talent on the roster or his lack of experience as a head coach, the team wasn’t able to climb out of the basement.
Canetti didn’t specify what type of role he envisions for Barrett but it is difficult to see him go back to being an assistant coach. He is likely to either move into the front office or leave the team. One possibility that has been brought up is moving to coach Rio Grande Valley Toros but that too seems unlikely. If he doesn’t wish to stay with the Dynamo, he’s most likely going to want a clean break to make a name for himself.
In the meantime the unofficial top candidate is Wilmer Cabrera, the current head coach of the Toros. He has an extensive career working with young players and has made a name for himself as one of the best in the US. As the head coach of the now defunct Chivas USA, he was able to make Erick “Cubo” Torres into the sensation that brought him to Houston as the best Christmas present ever (at the time). If Torres’ option isn’t picked up by Cruz Azul in December, it is logical for the man who got so much out of him to be brought in to replicate that success next season.
This is one coaching search that can’t take too long. While the playoffs continue without the Dynamo, for the third year in a row, Canetti and General Manager Matt Jordan have to find the right person fast so that evaluations of the roster can begin now. No changes can be made to the roster until December 11, the day after MLS Cup. The longer a new coach has to examine video, the better they’ll be able to assess what is available and whom to move on from.
More importantly, it’ll allow them to figure out what type of player they need, giving Jordan the time needed to scout.
This team is in desperate need of a vision but more importantly whatever vision is decided upon must be supported 100% by management, the front office and ownership. Whichever direction they choose to take the team, the funds and resources have to be given to the coach so the team can be put into a system that’ll succeed. While there isn’t much room to get worse, things can get much worse (take a look at 2013 DC United). The right players needed for the coach’s vision must be provided while also giving him the time needed to flush the roster and teach the players his new tactics. That means Jordan, Canetti and the new coach have to be in lock-step on the players to move on from and the ones to bring in.
One more season of abject failure is going to be disastrous for the club. A season of careful rebuilding will be more forgiving by the fans, though. It remains to be seen which one will be on display in 2017.