The Houston Dynamo’s topsy-turvy season may have just begun to stabilize, with the announcement that assistant coach Wade Barrett has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Houston preferred to name an interim coach, rather than a permanent one, in order to take their time and do their due diligence in naming a successor to the departed Owen Coyle, who mutually parted ways with the team on May 25.
“We feel at this time that Wade is the best person to lead this team and put us in the best position and have a successful season,” said Dynamo general manager and vice president Matt Jordan.
After Wednesday’s practice, Dynamo president Chris Canetti called Barrett “the right choice” and acknowledged that the organization would “love to lift” the interim tag at the end of the season, and have told him so.
“Ideally, we’re not going to have to go through another search for a coach,” said Canetti, who was once interim president before getting the tag removed in November 2010. “We hope that he does well the next couple of months and shows progress.”
That progress may already be underway.
After Coyle’s departure from the team, Barrett, along with assistant coaches Paul Rogers and Paul Caffrey, handled coaching duties with Barrett leading training sessions.
Of the three, Barrett also handled the in-game duties of head coach during two road games in which the Dynamo were able to secure two points.
“Right from the start he did a great job with the team in Vancouver and Dallas and we had enough confidence in him to take the team for both of those games,” said Canetti, who’s known Barrett since 2006. “We just have a feeling right now that he’s the right person for this team at this moment.”
Jordan echoed that sentiment, and added that the team looked at and evaluated a number of internal candidates.
One of the internal names that widely discussed by observers was Wilmer Cabrera, the current head coach of the Dynamo’s USL affiliate Rio Grande Valley FC and a former MLS head coach with Chivas USA in 2014. Canetti wouldn’t directly acknowledge if Cabrera was a candidate, instead saying that, “he would be amongst what would be considered internal candidate.”
Jordan mentioned that Barrett embodies the core principles of the club, which is, “built on hard work and team first approach, a willingness to fight for one another.”
Canetti sees Barrett – who won two MLS Cup titles with the team as a player and was assistant coach when they made back-to-back appearances in the title game in 2011 and 2012 – as a “bridge to the past” and envisions the current team using that link.
“We’re hoping that he can bring a lot of those character traits and qualities to the current time Houston Dynamo,” said Canetti, “and be the foundation for what we’re trying to build going forward.”