HOUSTON — The Houston Dynamo are coming off an up-and-down first half of their season, and with fellow Eastern Conference teams making moves to get better, the calls are coming in from all sides for Houston to follow suit.
One move in particular that caught the attention of the club and their fans was former Dynamo player Dwayne De Rosario’s departure from the New York Red Bulls to D.C. United last week.
“A player that we know well has moved twice in the last three months and I can assure you we’re not sitting by idle,” Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We’re on the phone trying to do things as well.”
There is no shortage of rumors surrounding a possible Houston move. Various media outlets have linked the club with a number of stars from last month's Gold Cup, including Carlos Costly, Jerry Bengtson and Rodolfo Zelaya. The reality of those players joining Houston is in question, even amidst the calls for immediate action.
“One thing you look at is that you want a guy that makes sense a lot in a lot of different ways,” Kinnear said. “One, does he help the team win, two, will the fans come out, and three, will he still have value on the transfer market in the future?”
Finding that player has proven difficult for Houston. The club signed Luis Ángel Landín in 2009 and Koke earlier this season in the hope that the strikers would provide the type of spark that would ignite their play on the field and the reaction in the stands.
The signings failed to do either. Landín washed out after an injury filled year and a half and Koke lasted just under two months before walking away from the team.
While Houston have not struck the right deal yet, they are still looking to bring in reinforcements this summer. If that happens by way of a high profile signing, then so be it.
But one thing remains certain: The Dynamo are wary of buying sight unseen.
“We’re trying to bring guys in and get a look but that’s difficult to do because guys don’t want to trial because they feel they deserve to be signed on what they’ve done,” Kinnear said. “For us it’s not just, ‘Hey, this guy’s good, lets go for it,’ because the other side of it is you’re dealing with a high-profile player and a different type of contract.
“We’re trying to make sure that if we sign somebody, unless it’s proven that we’ve seen this guy more than enough, that we can get a look at him up close and make sure that he can start for us because that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.