After a series of disappointing performances, it’s only reasonable to conclude that this is the most telling moment of Dominic Kinnear’s coaching career. The well-respected coach is holding the life vests as he watches his team rapidly sink down a cold and weary ocean that is the Eastern Conference table.
In the past, the midseason was when the Houston Dynamo turned on the engine and overtook multiple teams. However, the Texas club has been speeding the other direction since its victory against LA Galaxy in the middle of May.
In the fourth round of the historic tournament, the team could only score a single goal against a USL Premier Development League side; Laredo Heat. In the next round, the team crashed and burned in front of their fans against their local rival, FC Dallas.
So, what’s happened to the team that used to be a force to be reckoned with?
Well, there’s a really simple answer to that question. The players aren’t their usual self and the coach isn’t doing them any favors.
The advocates of the statement made by Jurgen Klinsmann about American sport, will agree that its time for Kinnear to move on.
Klinsmann said, via bleacherreport.com, “This always happens in America. Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”
Kinnear has been very successful at Houston, winning the 2006 and 2007 MLS cups. But like Klinsmann said, that’s all in the past. This year, Kinnear hasn’t looked like the coach he was a couple of seasons ago.
He’s made unconventional mistakes and after his side fell to Sporting Kansas City on June 6, he took the fall for the loss.
Kinnear said, “I’m the guy who picks the team, I’m the guy who makes the subs. This game is completely my fault tonight, I take 100 percent of the blame.”
Bad selection and anemic tactical plan has been the downfall of the Dynamo this year. Houston has the most defeats (10) in MLS this year. That’s worst than Chivas USA, who has seven and has played 15 games compared to Houston’s 17.
Kinnear’s bad judgment and tactical frailty were on display in his team’s latest defeat. The manager could not lead his side past Montreal Impact because he failed to prepare his side for the threat the Canadian team poses on counter-attacks and his offense was a non-factor.
Frank Klopas’ team had a field day with Houston’s defense, and should have scored more than three goals. Jack McInerney and Marco Di Vaio’s movement pried open the back line and the wide men and Felipe Martins took advantage of the spaces created by their forwards.
Despite the return of Boniek Garcia, Kinnear’s attackers could not threaten a side that has conceded 26 goals in 13 matches. The manager also made a mistake when he took off Omar Cummings for Brian Ownby.
Even though Ownby was brilliant and innovative when he came on, Kinnear should have replaced Will Bruin. Cummings had been the most dangerous Houston player on the pitch, while Bruin looked disinterested.
It’s clear that Kinnear has a lot to do in order to keep his job, but he has to make better decisions when it comes to buying players. Wasting money on flops like Servando Carrasco and Alexander López just won’t cut it.
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