Houston Dynamo's World Cup-tested newcomers bring "new energy," urgency to slumping squad
HOUSTON – With new players come new energy, or so the Houston Dynamo hope.
Now that the club has brought in two starting-caliber players in DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido, the goal now is to get a lift from fresh faces that have played at a high level. With a few training sessions under their belts, the early signs point to the newcomers giving the club a coveted jolt.
“Any time you bring in new guys, I think people pay attention to that,” said head coach Dominic Kinnear. “When you bring in guys of the quality that we’ve brought in, I think everyone’s excited and it brings a new energy to training.”
Houston need a boost, as the club has endured some choppy waters in the past two months. The Orange haven't won since May 17, when they beat the LA Galaxy 1-0. Since then, the club has gone through an eight-game winless streak, and the doldrums had set in as a result.
Last week the Dynamo struck with their most notable signings of the year to date, bringing in World Cup veterans Beasley and Garrido. While the pair will not fix all of Houston’s issues, the first few sessions have seen the intensity rise.
“If you look at the past couple of seasons, there was a midseason where we brought in [Luiz] Camargo and [Adam] Moffat [in 2011] and it changed things,” said right back Kofi Sarkodie. “So there are always moves that help increase the team. These two are great players and that’s all they’re going to do – help increase the talent and play of our team.”
How Garrido (pictured at right) and Beasley will be used is not yet set in stone. Beasley was forthcoming last week in telling the media he wants to play left back, while Garrido is a central midfielder by trade.
Kinnear did not tip his hand Tuesday, saying it was early in the week, but did admit to having an idea for how they will line up come Sunday, when D.C. United visit BBVA Compass Stadium (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
But the mere fact that the new faces have amped up the intensity level on the field is a sign of the issues the club have run up against. Houston are well off the pace in the MLS Eastern Conference and have talked about the importance of regaining their confidence.
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With the front office moving to shake things up with two newcomers and nearly three months left in the season, it’s easy to see that the club’s mindset is to get better sooner rather than later.
“The front office has shown now they can go out and get guys to make this team better, and we always know they can do that,” said center back David Horst. “We’re professionals and we know this is a job and it can change any day.
“That’s why every single day counts. Ultimately, every day you’ve got to show up and do your job. If people go out and don’t do their job, they’ll get fired; same thing for us. If we don’t do our job, we’ll get fired too.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.