- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 26, 2009
- 2 Comments
- 2009 Season Preview, Dominic Kinnear, Season Previews, Stuart Holden
Moving on in our season preview quest here at WVH. Today we head down to Houston as we knock out the other Texan club (yesterday was FC Dallas’s day). Another early start to the year for the Dynamo with the CONCACAF Champions League, can the Dynamo block out the memory of last year’s post season exit in the first round to the New York Red Bulls or will we see the Dynamo slide into unfamiliar territory and not be a contender for once?
2008 record and finish: 13-5-12, 51 pts., first in west, lost in first round of playoffs.
Offseason Player Movement:
Julius James (via trade – Toronto FC)
Daniel Cruz (SuperDraft)
Felix Garcia (via signing from Laredo Heat – PDL)
Tally Hall (via signing from Esbjerg fB – Denmark)
Nate Jaqua (Seattle Sounders FC – Expansion Draft)
Tony Caig (waived)
Kyle Brown (waived)
Dwayne De Rosario (via trade – Toronto FC)
Patrick Ianni (via trade – Seattle Sounders)
Questions going into 2009:
1. Can the Dynamo really be the Dynamo without Dwayne de Rosario?
Dealing away de Rosario over the winter either was a sign that the star midfielder is on the decline in his career and it was good business to let him go home OR Houston is just rolling the dice here.
In a way I think its a bit of both. Dominic Kinnear obviously knows more than we do about de Rosario and what he brings to the talk and if he felt it was time to let him go then you have to think there was a good reason for it.
The guy to replace him has been waiting in the wings to do for the last couple years. Should Stuart Holden be half as good as de Rosario was for Houston then I think it will be a move that will pay off fine for Kinnear.
Houston will be fine without DeRo, its just time to see other guys step up for a change.
2. Who will partner with Brian Ching?
Kinnear has been looking long and hard for a partner for Ching. He tried to get Mexican forward Luis Angel Landin and we’ve heard that former Dynamo striker Joseph Ngwenya could return.
From the look of things Kinnear will once again have to wait for the summer transfer window to bring in help. Good timing too as Ching will be gone a good bit during those months with the US National team.
3. Guy to keep an eye on for a break out year?
An easy one here with Holden. He has to be the glue in the middle to get things done for the Dynamo. As long as Kinnear trusts Holden, the kid should be fine in getting the job done. I truly expect big things from Holden in 2009.
Look at the 2009 Schedule:
This club will be busy as always late in the year with the CCL. No dancing around that, especially in August with the eight or nine games they will have overall (not to mention a Thursday-Sunday swing early on in the month). Luckily their September is extremely light MLS wise with two games.
Early on in their schedule it is just typical as most clubs. Small groups of home and away games. They don’t start out easy either with a visit from MLS Cup Champions Columbus to start the year followed by a trips to San Jose and DC.
2009 Season Outlook:
I do worry about the injury bug hitting this club late in the year but if anyone can manage that problem it would be Kinnear. Defensively this club is as solid as ever with getting Bobby Boswell back and the addition of Juluis James. Even with DeRo gone in the midfield that group is pretty much the same as always. Wing play will be a bigger deal this time around but with Brian Mullan and Brad Davis I think they will be fine there.
It just comes down to who pairs up with Ching the best. If they settle that early then you can expect another strong finish from this bunch.
Depth will be the biggest issue for this club, like most MLS clubs. Still with the core of this club still in tact from their last MLS Cup run I fully expect their first round exit in last year’s playoffs will fuel this hungry bunch back into MLS Cup contention.