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3 Questions: Houston Dynamo

Derek Stowers of partner site Dynamo Theory takes a moment to answer three questions about the Houston Dynamo ahead of tonight's game against New York City at Yankee Stadium. l

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Historically, coaches with little or no MLS experience fare poorly in MLS. Owen Coyle took over the Dynamo after iconic coach Dom Kinnear left for San Jose, with that hanging over Coyle's head. Given that past, how do you think Coyle has fared thus far, and is he likely to break the "foreign coach" duck?

The Dynamo organization has a very high reputation for success and they've given Coyle the tools he needs to do well so I think he'll break the "foreign coach" mold in many regards. How successful he'll be remains to be seen. Thus far I think he's accomplished some of our offseason goals. We've strengthened our defense and we've finally been able to put together some offensive performances as well. We still need to put together consistent performances, but he's off to the start that most of us would have expected. Currently we're only 3 points out of a playoff spot so it's hard to complain too much about that.

2. For the last few years, Will Bruin has been the focal point for Houston's attack. Now that Cubo Torres is coming, how do you think that will change, if at all? How would you deploy Cubo?

Without writing up every single attacking possibility, it changes things everything. Coyle has tinkered around with his offense (and lineups in general) to see what works and what doesn't and I expect him to do the same with Cubo Torres. I find it hard to imagine that we see Barnes, Bruin, and Cubo in a starting lineup together unless our defense really shows promise and we have Barnes at CAM with Bruin/Cubo up top. Earlier in the season Bruin was shown the bench and I think he becomes the odd man out in the starting lineup. I don't believe Cubo to be a hold-up player the way Bruin is, but Barnes playing as a 2nd striker under Cubo is how I think we'll see it - at least initially. How it evolves is a mystery.

3. ​​ After years in the Eastern Conference, how do you think Houston is faring in the West? Do you think it's a better fit for the team?​

I think at heart, the Dynamo is a Western Conference team which to me means they have a lot of fight in them and they have to grind out each game. In the East, even though they fared well until last season, they seemed more sedated and road performances especially seemed lacking. Houston is doing alright so far in their return to the West, all things considered, and could be poised to make a deeper run with the arrival of Cubo. I think it is a better fit, taking each game to mean more, but in the end 3 points is 3 points regardless of which conference you belong to.