Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Houston Dynamo Reload for 2012 MLS Season

The Houston Dynamo have always seemed to have a love-hate relationship with the MLS SuperDraft. In the franchise's early years in Houston, Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear seemed to have no qualms about trading away a top draft pick in order to obtain a player who filled a need or role right away for his squad. The result of this was that the Dynamo often picked late in the draft. Additionally, the Dynamo had no qualms about using draft picks on players like Marcus Tracy and Euan Holden, despite the fact that those players were clearly going to skip MLS for opportunities in Europe.

Despite this somewhat casual attitude towards the draft, the Houston Dynamo were fairly decent at picking up quality players like Corey Ashe, in 2007; Geoff Cameron, in 2008; and Danny Cruz, in 2009. After a rather dismal 2010 draft, the Dynamo seemed to take a new attitude towards the 2011 draft where they managed to pick up Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie.

This year the Dynamo showed signs that their 2011 approach was not a fluke, not only making serious use of the SuperDraft to pick up talent but also using the Supplemental Draft as a means of trying to address the team's weak spots, primarily, it's midfield and offense.

With their first pick of the 2012 draft, which was the 18th overall pick, the Dynamo drafted a forward, Colin Rolfe, who played at Louisville, the Big East conference champion. Then, in the second round, the Dynamo drafted midfielder Warren Creavalle, who played for the University of Central Florida.

In the 2012 Supplemental Draft the Houston Dynamo picked five players: Brian Ownby (forward); Karo Okiomah (forward), Eder Arreola (midfielder), Philip Aseweh (forward), and Daniel Roberts (home-grown midfielder).

The fact that the Dynamo are taking a look at four new forwards suggests that the team is doubtful that it will be able to trade for Brian Ching and has chosen to focus on trying to find the team's next generation of strikers. I know that many Dynamo fans really want to see Ching dressed in orange on May 12th when the new stadium opens, but fans need to ask themselves are they willing to ransom the team's future for one, aging player?

The Dynamo start preseason training camp on Monday January 23rd and have their first scrimmage on January 28th, against the Dynamo Academy. Additional preseason games in Houston include scrimmages against San Jac College (Feb. 1), HBU (Feb. 4), and SMU (Feb. 18). The Dynamo will spend a few weeks training in Carson, California, where they'll scrimmage against the Montreal Impact, L.A. Galaxy, Portland Timbers, and San Jose Earthquakes (in Venture). The Dynamo will close out the preseason by participating in the Disney Pro Classic in Orlando, where they'll play Sporting Kansas City, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Montreal Impact.

The Houston Dynamo start their regular season on March 11th when they play Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

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