They’ve got a new stadium coming.
They’ve got a dearth of talent.
They’ve got a huge, diverse fan base that earned that stadium.
Tim Leiweke, part of the Dynamo ownership group, commented today that Houston Dynamo should bring in a significant player. Wait, not strong enough, check out the direct quote:
“From a business standpoint, the only thing I’ve asked Chris and Dom to do is don’t dip your toe in the water.
If you are going, go big. I don’t believe in halfway, and there is a commitment amongst all our partners to make it a significant player that moves the needle from a business standpoint, fan standpoint, as well as on the pitch.”
Wow, it’s now up to coach Dom Kinnear and COO Chris Canetti to deliver.
If you’re looking for a potential Houston DP, given Leiweke’s comments, your candidate has the following complexion:
• They can pull both American fans and Mexican fans into that shiny new stadium.
• They fit a team need for Houston (primarily attack).
• They should be attacking if possible either way–those players tend to fetch more fan buzz and interest.
• You’re thinking about a salary (to the player) of about $2M-$4M.
Five Plausibilities (not ready to call them Possibilities)
• DaMarcus Beasley (Signed for Hannover, Sept. 2010)
Major Draw: 7 – True Possibility: 2 – Team Need: 7
Overall Score: 16
Yes, Brad Davis inhabits the left flank quite well for the Blackpool, but Beasley is best on the right cutting in on his left foot.
Questions about whether Beasley is a Dom Kinnear type or would leave chilly Glasgow for sweltering Houston will and would abound.
That said, Beasley has close ties with Traffic Sports which rep Latin American events and they might have something to say about this.
• Fernando Morientes (Retired, Sept. 2010)
Major Draw: 5 – True Possibility: 5 – Team Need: 7
Overall Score: 17
Had Leiweke made his comments three years ago (when the DP was just an embryo) then Morientes would likely be your man.
At 34 (35 next year) Morientes just completed a one-year deal at top French club Marseille. The former Spanish star striker can still score and he’s a good teammate. Enough bang for a major DP signing? Just shy?
• Gio Dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur)
Major Draw: 8, True Possiiblity: 4, Team Need: 9
Overall Score: 21
Dos Santos will need little service as well to do his work and his hometown is less than 500 miles away.
Confined to sporadic play on Tottenham’s bench and failing in his endeavor to make a name at Galatasary, Dos Santos could–conceivably Nery Castillo-style–be loaned for a term to Houston.
Dos Santos, even with his inconsistency, would tear up MLS and quickly be a favorite for the scoring crown.
He’s exciting and he’ll certainly sell seats. Salary? He’ll come at a premium as he is making $5M these days.
Might be shooting too high on Gio, but if Houston wants to make a splash…
• Juan Román Riquelme:
Major Draw: 7 – True Possibility: 6 – Team Need: 9
Overall Score: 22
He’s still got it, but can you get him out of Argentina? Ante up the ducats, Dynamo.
• David Suazo
Major Draw: 8 – True Possibility: 7 – Team Need: 8
Overall Score: 23
Probably your best candidate here.
The Honduras national is about ready for an Americas homecoming. After a sparkling Serie A career, Suazo has been fighting for playing time and went on loan to Genoa during the last half of last year.
Suazo could still get it done in MLS though, and he’s a short skip from home–Honduras.
Ronaldinho: He’s still Milan-quality and likes to be out in the scene. L.A. is a believable rumor, Houston is not.
Carlos Bocanegra: I know a Mexican-American and captain of the USMNT. Captain America for crissakes.That said, the Dynamo don’t need a defender and just how transformative Boca’s presence will be on or off the field remains to be seen.
Ruud Van Nistelroy: Not your guy Houston. The mercurial Van Nistelroy has a lethal shot but perhaps more than any other former World Class striker, he needs service to be effective.
Something tells me between Houston weather or cultural fabric, Van Nistelroy would be highly petulant before long.
Freddy Adu: Houston fans are smart soccer fans. They’ll sniff out Adu as a potential draw more than on his potential on the field. Steve Goff will probably float this rumor sometime in the next week. Kidding.
Alessandro Del Piero: Bright lights, big city. I could see him hitting LA, Philly or New York before Houston.
Eddie Johnson: The Florida native–who we’ll discuss in another piece this week–would not be coming back to MLS as a designated player in our opinion.
Dejan Stanković: A good fit, but won’t draw from Latin America and hasn’t moved from Inter since before 2004.
Damien Duff: An excellent choice, but he’s not giving up the British Isles for Texas.
Joseba Llorente: Jozy Altidore’s Villarreal striker sibling has played his entire career in Spain; a good fit, but not likely to leave.
Paco Torres: He would be Houston’s new Stu Holden. Is he DP material? Not quite.
Clarence Seedorf: A smart and still productive player; I just don’t see the fit though.
Guillermo Franco: The junior Morientes. One year behind Morientes, but further behind in talent.
Added commentary from TSG reader Chris, who has participated in our MLS Jumbles:
I’ve been discussing this a bit with some of the knowledgable Dynamo fans over at Big Soccer and based on that and Tim Leiweke’s comments one thing is apparent: this is going to be a BIG name signing. There was pretty universal agreement that this needs to be a player who’s shown on the European and/or world stage, mixed opinions on whether or not a Spanish or South American export might be favored, and general desire for a #10 or an out and out striker who’s exciting to watch and generates media attention (and great highlights).
The big issue with finding a DP is that MLS has shown serious reluctance to pay transfer fees. This means you have to find a player who’s ideally on his way out of a club and most likely a bit on the older side, that combined with the desire for star power the Dynamo are after and you’ve got your work cut out for you. There are always occasions where a player will be released from his contract, however, as in Henry’s situation with Barcelona.
After hearing your pick and looking over the El Tri roster I thought about Andrés Guardado. Not as big a name but would definitely appeal to the Hispanic population and he’s a legitimate footballer in Spain. Probably not as big a name as is desired, however, and he may not be interested in a move.