Houston has been one of the class teams of the last five years, despite losing so much talent during that time. What was the breaking point that caused 2010 to be what its been?
This season has been a perfect storm situation for the Dynamo. First Holden's replacement Geoff Cameron suffers an early season knee injury and forces a shift of the midfield. Lovel Palmer who was signed to fill the roll left by Ricardo Clark but he's better suited as an attacking player. More than those issues it seems age is catching to up with this roster. Robinson,Mulrooney, and Onstad are still solid players but they aren't who they were 2-3 years ago. The important thing is the future look bright with the likes of Cruz, Chabala and Hall but elements of the roster need a make over.
Will the Dynamo be one of the haves or the have nots in the new era of 3 DPs? Would Holden have stayed under the new rules?
For now I think the Dynamo will be have nots by choice. With the new stadium on the way, it would make sense to bring in a name by 2012 but Kinnear and Co. are not going to reach for someone that doesn't make sense tactically and financially. The hope is the new stadium will expand the marketability of the club and open the door for the Dynamo to utilize the DP rules. As for Holden, he wasn't going to stay no matter what. He was offered a generous contract but he was ready to go to Europe. I just don't think money was the driving motivation in his decision.
Both Ching and Cam Weaver have strong connections to Seattle and Washington State, what have they meant to Houston?
Weaver has never really got on track this season after his two early injuries. His size should make him a dangerous target but it feels at times like he hasn't reached his full potential. That said he's a solid player and gives Kinnear depth and flexibility up front.
What can you say about Ching that hasn't been said. He's the face of the franchise, helped lead the Dynamo to two MLS Cups and is a involved in the Houston community at-large. He's beloved and respected by fans and will be the first true "legend" of the club. There was a reason Garber named him to the all-star team beyond needing a Dynamo player there. His goal got the biggest fan reaction of the night because Houston soccer fans love Brian Ching.