With D.C. United traveling to Houston today to take on the Dynamo, we reached out to our friends at Dynamo Theory to get the lowdown on all things Orange. For my answers to their questions, head on over to Dynamo Theory.
B&RU: The Houston Dynamo were the first team to fire their coach this year; was it justified, and does Wade Barrett have a chance to remove the interim tag from his title?
DT: It’s typically difficult to justify the calling for a coach’s position, but the Dynamo were in a bad spot. Being the last team in the Western Conference, a team without a road point, and a wildly inconsistent side all made the decision to move on. But I should point out that this technically wasn’t a “firing” as the two sides parted mutually. Owen Coyle recently visited home to attend a friend’s funeral and likely missed home and the fact that the Dynamo were doing so poorly made it that much easier to walk away.
Barrett definitely has the opportunity to lift the interim tag, but that likely won’t come until next year. He’s been at the helm for 3 games now (2 MLS games and 1 USOC) and has 2 draws at Vancouver and Dallas and a commanding 4-0 win over San Antonio FC. The players also stand behind him which could help unify the team in a difficult time. It’s too early to predict if Barrett gets it, but it’s certainly a possibility.
B&RU: Will Bruin is a noted United Killer; how does he look so far this season?
DT: Bruin started the year very hot, though he’s has cooled off considerably since then, but the same is true of our offense in general. Tactically, Coyle wanted the team to address defensive concerns which came at the expense of support for the offense which usually meant stranding our lone center forward. Bruin has proven that when he’s given support he can score or create for others, but if he doesn’t he is often taken completely out of the game with a very limited touch count. Never count Bruin out in a game as he’s capable of coming alive, especially against DC, but currently he’s not on a hot streak. Although some could say he’s due to turn that around.
B&RU: Rico Clark has a complicated history with USA fans; how is his career in Houston looking this season?
DT: These past two years Clark has been my MVP. He’s simply a work horse and capable of keeping Houston in games through his defense and his offense. Defensively he’s an exceptional tackler and excels at shadowing players in central midfield and making things difficult for players coming up the spine of the field. On offense, he crashes the box following free kicks or other opportunities and can score from distance with great accuracy. He’s an overlooked central mid in terms of greatness and is easily a top 5 within the league and has been for some time. Why he’s overlooked might have something to do with his age, a poor World Cup appearance, and the quality of the Dynamo recently, but he’s certainly among the best which is hard to argue if you’ve watched him.
B&RU: Lineup and prediction?
DT: Projected Lineup: 4-2-3-1: Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley, Raul Rodriguez, David Horst, Jalil Anibaba; Collen Warner, Ricardo Clark; Giles Barnes, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Andrew Wenger; Will Bruin
Predicted Outcome: 3-1 Dynamo. The Dynamo rally around their new coach and are able to get things done at home.