With only days until the 2014 World Cup begins, most fans and players are brimming with excitement and enthusiasm. The Houston Dynamo, however, aren’t quite as eager for the tournament as others. Two of their star players, Brad Davis and Boniek Garcia, were called up to the USMNT and Honduras, respectively. And if you’ve kept up with the Dynamo in their latest games, there’s no doubt that their play is based on a heavy dependency on Davis and Garcia. Their absence has highlighted the glaring holes in the Dynamo offense that can’t be replaced with the current roster.
The biggest problem the Dynamo have shown, not only in their recent slump, but all season, is the offensive production. Too often they seem to rely on Davis or a long ball from the defense. Hardly ever do you see a well-built play. When Davis and Garcia aren’t providing their magic, the offense seems terribly lost. Will Bruin can’t be expected to create goals for himself, and Giles Barnes has been largely underwhelming this season.
As Davis shows his set-piece prowess for the Stars and Stripes, the Dynamo are longing for that element which they use the most. Neither Andrew Driver, Servando Carrasco or Giles Barnes provide the precision and accuracy that Davis brings in free-kicks and corners. Even in open play, Davis kicks in a number of crosses that have an uncanny precision to them. Bruin is having a great season in terms of goal numbers, thanks in part to the passing ability of Davis.
Boniek Garcia, on the other hand, isn’t quite as essential to the Dynamo’s success, but he has shown up for several key passages this season. When the team is in an offensive slump, he can provide an offensive spark with his dribbling and passing. While it seems midfielder Omar Cummings has replaced him in the line-up, his speed and ability are too inconsistent to be able to rely on. It would be interesting to see what Honduran international Alexander Lopez can bring to the table behind the strikers, but he seemingly isn’t given confidence by the coaching staff.
The Dynamo have to go through at least four more games without Davis and Garcia, and if head coach Dominic Kinnear doesn’t find a player or tactics to fix the lost offensive system in Houston, they’ll find themselves falling down the standings quickly. Unfortunately for the Dynamo, from the looks of their roster, they simply don’t have the talent to replace the Davis dependency.