HOUSTON — With the introduction of Jurgen Klinsmann as US manager, the excitement around the team ratcheted up more than a few notches.
Fans and certain sections of the media clamored for the German World Cup winner to take the reins of the US program for years. They hope he can infuse some of the attacking style into the US that he did his native national team when he led them to a third place finish in the 2006 World Cup.
“Change can be good sometimes,” former US striker Brian Ching told the media at a press conference before the Houston Dynamo’s friendly Sunday against Monterrey. “He brings a level of excitement, a new philosophy and tons of experience and commands a lot of respect.”
Ching made 45 appearances in the Red, White and Blue, scoring 11 goals in his seven-year international career. He still has a connection with a number of players currently on the team. According to Ching, the team has been reinvigorated by the vibrant German’s demeanor and fresh approach.
“The feeling I got from the guys is excitement,” Ching said. “The guys have to prove themselves again. No one’s set to be a starter or come into every camp. I think that excitement and Klinsmann’s philosophy will help the team get better.
“I think some of the players could have stagnated a bit and, now, with a new challenge ahead of them they can get some fresh life into them. I look forward to watching them and seeing how they do.”
Dixon out 2-4 weeks
Houston Home Grown product Alex Dixon came up with a goal of the year candidate for the Dynamo when he hit a last second game winner two weeks ago in a 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake. Now his rookie season has hit a snag.
The youngster underwent surgery to repair a fractured right middle finger, suffered in a 3-0 reserve game loss to the Colorado Rapids on Thursday.
"It's like a spiral fracture," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear told the Houston Chronicle. "If he were to fall on it, he could do major damage to it."
The injury is expected to keep the rookie sidelined for two to four weeks.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.