While the teams around them are busy making moves, the Houston Dynamo are taking a pragmatic approach to the offseason. Just don't mistake their patience for passivity.
With the roster rounding into form, the club is focusing on quality rather than quantity.
“We don’t feel pressure to make moves because other teams are making moves right now,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “We know what we need to do and we have a plan in place in terms of how we’re going to approach it and we’ll make the right move at the right time when that opportunity presents itself.”
Though Houston do feel good about where they are with their roster overall, they are still looking to improve, especially in the forward position.
The Dynamo have just one established, healthy forward sure to return at this point, leading goalscorer Will Bruin. From last year’s group, Cam Weaver, who is close to re-signing, and Mac Kandji, who is exploring his options despite an offer from the club, are out of contract. Brian Ching is being given space to decide if he wants another MLS go-round and Calen Carr is embarking on rehab following a left ACL injury.
Despite the depleted ranks, the Dynamo are looking to make the right move at forward and the club is considering options both inside and out of MLS. Whether that move happens tomorrow or in two months doesn't matter.
“We realize it’s a pressing need currently and we’re going to do what we need to do to address that in the appropriate time,” Canetti remarked. “I think it’s more important to get the right player instead of getting a full complement of what you think you need for the opening of say [preseason] camp.”
Moving back from forward, however, things look to be in order for Houston.
The Dynamo only have Andre Hainault – who is in the same position as Kandji – out of contract, and the club’s move for Brunner would help absorb losing the Canadian international, although the club is adamant that it's interested in bringing him back.
As far as another Designated Player is concerned, expect Houston to take a similar approach as they have in the past if they indeed do move in that direction, which is to take its time to look for the type of deal they swung for Boniek García, a young player that fits into the system.
So while the holidays usher in a brief respite and many in the Dynamo family are eager for presents under the tree, Houston is content to take a measured approach and trust a plan they feel good about.
“We’ve built the squad up over time, adding parts and pieces and we don’t think we’re a team that needs to make several moves to be successful,” Canetti said. “We think we need to make adjustments and we’ll make those, but, they don’t need to happen right now.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.