Houston (CBS Houston) – The Dynamo have missed the MLS Playoffs the last two seasons, and for the club, that’s a standard that can’t become the norm.
As winners of two MLS Cups, two other losses in the MLS Cup finals and reaching the playoffs in seven of their first eight seasons, the Dynamo have one of the most storied clubs in league history.
After finishing eighth in the Western Conference and failing to qualify for the MLS Playoffs in 2014 the Dynamo, for the first time in three seasons and only the second time in eight seasons, watched the post season from home. It was a feat that would be repeated again in 2015, as the Dynamo would again finish eighth in the Western Conference and on the outside looking in.
When Dynamo President Chris Canetti, General Manager Matt Jordan and Head Coach Owen Coyle spoke during media day at the Citadel on Kirby, the message was clear, this club expects to be in the post season.
Coyle will enter his second season at the helm as he tries to guide the Dynamo to past glory and one of his hopes is to improve on the Dynamo’s performance away from BBVA Compass Stadium. In the last two seasons the Dynamo have won just fives games away from home.
The most notable move in the offseason was executing a trade with the Philadelphia Union for Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger, which will bring excitement and more scoring chances for this year’s club.
In the 29-year-old Maidana, or Chaco as he likes to be called, the Dynamo get a player who has been on the MLS leaderboard in assists consistently. Last season, Maidana finished with 15 assists, which was second in the MLS and set a Union record, which broke his own record set the season before with 11 assists.
Wenger, who at only 25 years of age, the Dynamo get a player still on the forefront of his career and with a lot of upside. Wenger, was the number one overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of Duke University. At Duke, Wenger had a stellar career, winning the 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy that is given to the best male Division 1 soccer player. Drafted by Montreal, Wenger was traded to Philadelphia in 2014, a season which he enjoyed his most success. After playing the first four matches with the Impact, he was traded to the Union and combined to score seven goals that season.
Two familiar faces that the Dynamo will continue to count on are Giles Barnes and DaMarcus Beasley.
Barnes, who captained the club during the preseason, is expected to have that role with the Dynamo during the regular season. Barnes enters his fifth season in Houston, and while an experienced veteran, he is only 27-years-old. Two seasons ago Barnes was the 2014 Dynamo MVP, the Players’ Player of the Year, the Budweiser Golden Boot and Ironman of the Year award winners.
If Barnes is an experienced veteran, Beasley is the grizzled veteran of the club. Beasley, the first American to play in four World Cups and the four-time MLS All-Star, enters his third season with the Dynamo.
It won’t take long for the Dynamo to be tested. Their first seven matches, and eight of their first nine, are against clubs that made the MLS Playoffs a year ago. The season opener sees the Dynamo face the New England Revolution at 2 p.m., Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sports Radio 610.