Friday, November 6, 2015

Season in Review: Houston Dynamo

Record: 11-14-9, 42 pts, 8th Place Western Conference
Goals For: 42
Goals Against: 49

Team Leaders

Goals: Will Bruin - 11
Assists: Brad Davis - 10
Shutouts: Tyler Deric - 7
All-Stars: DaMarcus Beasley

Year in Review

It was a tough year for the Dynamo as they missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Giles Barnes, a year after scoring a team-high 11 goals, endured a 13-match scoring drought midseason, Cubo Torres failed to score on the heels of his 15-goal season with Chivas USA in 2014, and injuries derailed the seasons of rookies Rob Lovejoy and Taylor Hunter, as well as veteran Jermaine Taylor. Meanwhile, the Dynamo's aging veteran core - DaMarcus Beasley (33), Ricardo Clark (32), Brad Davis (33) - while still productive, is now another year older with another season of miles on their legs. But while there are certainly question marks going forward, not everything was a disaster in 2015. Tyler Deric won four Save-of-the-Week honors in his first full year in net after the departure of Tally Hall, Beasley made the All-Star team, Davis notched his seventh double-digit assist season, Clark doubled his career-high with 8 goals, Will Bruin scored double digit goals for the third time in four years, and youngsters Mauro Manotas, Zach Steinberger, Lovejoy, and Rasheed Olabiyi all logged playing time. But Houston never won more than two games in a row at any point in the season and their longest unbeaten streak was just 3 matches.

What's Next?

With Giles Barnes, Cubo Torres and Will Bruin (if he re-signs), the Dynamo have proven goal scorers, but Barnes and Torres in particular will have to do more than they did in 2015. Clark and Davis were both solid in 2015, but they won't continue on forever, and at some point replacments will need to be groomed. Rumors of Davis's departure have already started swirling, but it's too early to tell if those hold water. Torres and Beasley are currently holding down Designated Player spots on the Dynamo roster which means Houston could go out and get another piece. I'd expect a midfielder or a defender. The Dynamo defense was solid if not spectacular in 2015 with Beasley, David Horst, Raúl Rodríguez and Jermaine Taylor/Sheanon Williams holding down the backline. Still, depth was an issue as there were times this year when midfielder Boniek García was forced to play in the back due to injuries. The Dynamo aren't that far removed from back-to-back Finals runs, but they'll need to make some adjustments if they want to end the playoff drought in 2016.

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