Team Profile: Houston Dynamo FC
Updated: Feb 23
Year founded: 2005.
First season in MLS: 2006.
Stadium: Shell Energy Stadium, Houston, TX.
Honors: MLS Cup (2006, 2007), U.S. Open Cup (2018).
2023 highlights: Ben Olsen's first game in charge of Houston Dynamo will be at TQL Stadium against FC Cincinnati on February 25th. They complete their 34-game program with what could be a testing trip to Providence Park to play Portland Timbers on October 21st. The Dynamo start with two road games, before back-to-back home games at the recently re-named Shell Energy Stadium. Their home opener is against Austin FC, the first of three meetings with The Verde and Black.
Head Coach: Ben Olsen (appointed November 8th, 2022).
Players to watch: Héctor Herrera, Sebastián Ferreira, Adalberto Carrasquilla.
Ifunanyachi Achara (Re-Entry Draft) Artur (trade from Columbus)
Charles Auguste (waivers) Amine Bassi (transfer from FC Metz)
Luis Caicedo (signing) Franco Escobar (free agent) Iván Franco (loan from Club Libertad)
Micael (signed from Dynamo 2)
Mujeeb Murana (homegrown signing)
Tate Schmitt (signed after option declined by RSL)
Brad Smith (free agent) Andrew Tarbell (free agent)
Djevencio van der Kust (loan from FC Utrecht)
Mateo Bajamich (option declined) Darwin Ceren (out of contract) Ian Hoffmann (option declined) Sam Junqua (out of contract) Adam Lundkvist (trade to Austin) Marcelo Palomino (option declined) Tim Parker (trade from Houston) Fafa Picault (trade to Nashville) Darwin Quintero (option declined) Memo Rodríguez (option declined) Thiago (option declined) Zarek Valentin (option declined) Matías Vera (loan to Argentinos Juniors) Zeca (option declined)
2022 summary: for a fifth season in a row, the Dynamo failed to go beyond the regular season, finishing 13th (out of 14) in the Western Conference. They have reached the postseason just once in the previous nine seasons (2017). Last season was a first season as GM for club legend Pat Onstad, while Ted Segal went into his first full season as majority owner, before purchasing the remaining shares in August of '22. In other words, a turbulent time behind the scenes likely did not help first season head coach Paulo Nagamura, who was fired with five games remaining, to be replaced on an interim basis by Kenny Bundy.
Facts and Stats: after 12 seasons as a player, Ben Olsen was to spend 10 years as head coach of D.C. United, initially as interim, from the latter stages of 2010. His first game was a 1-0 loss at New England Revolution on August 7th. His last game was a 4-1 defeat by NYCFC at Yankee Stadium on October 7th, 2020. Olsen's coaching record stands at 113-137-84, this after 221 regular season appearances in D.C.'s midfield. Aside from a brief spell as a player in England with Nottingham Forest, 45-year-old Olsen has been a one-man club ... until now.
Milestones for 2023: when Houston visits Cincinnati in the season opener, they will be playing their 550th regular season game in MLS.