There is alot of discussion, opinion and mis-perception about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Dynamo Charity Cup and how these games played out and their significance in the big picture.
With few reserve games and few opportunities to reward and get young players playing time these games seem to be the perfect time.
Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear used these games to get players like Warren Creavalle, Oscar Recio, Colin Rolfe, and Brian Ownby valuable experience. Experience to players that have yet to get an MLS minute.
Just listen to my brief interview with Warren Creavalle on Sports Talk 790 and him describing playing in front of a large crowd and the challenges it posed. How else does he get experience? How can we not allow him the rope and room to make mistakes to learn?
Oh and by the way, with Kofi Sarkodie injured and Jermaine Taylor called up to Jamaica he just may be playing this coming Saturday at Vancouver.
The Open Cup sadly is not promoted despite it’s history and for those that hope it emerges into an FA Cup you are not realistic.
Eight, count them, eight MLS teams got knocked out and to some it has become less than relevant.
Coaches are judged by MLS play and MLS Cup titles and that is not down-playing the success of clubs like Seattle in the Open Cup.
The gap between MLS players beyond 15 -17 on a roster and those on lower division teams is not very different in many cases. Especially since the MLS players are not getting regular games.
Lower division clubs are highly motivated opponents, they players with something to prove. San Antonio had seven that have played in MLS and were coached by former MLS coach Tim Hankinson.
How can you blame MLS coaches for not using this as opportunity to “blood” younger players?
I am not buying any claim to the Dynamo not playing with “effort” in San Antonio.
I was there and saw it with my own eyes. If you believed the Dynamo were going to win based on the entitlement of being “MLS” you are way off base.
In the future player development and a full blown youth and reserve system underneath the first team and increased budgets are a way to create stronger, deeper, more experienced rosters and more importantly strengthen squads for international competition. It may not come as fast as we would like.
This will take resources, dollars and still seems a long way off before it really reaps benefits.
By the way, weren’t alot of fans clamoring for more young players to get opportunity?
On to the Dynamo Charity Cup and Valencia’s visit.
To have a 93 year old club in Houston providing the competition and the visual of Spanish La Liga football in person was worth it’s weight in gold.
The night of influence to a sell-out crowd was hugely important and this game has now taken itself to another level.
Many expressed to me that this was their favorite game of the short tenure at BBVA Compass Stadium.
This was far more entertaining than Bolton last year.
The Dynamo organization will now have to use this game and the quality of it as a benchmark for future international matches.
I remember alot of criticism about Valencia and the fact that we did not get Real Madrid or Barcelona. Seems Valencia was a great opponent and displayed a style of football that we don’t see in MLS.
Incidentally they have a budget of $60 million against a $2.7 million dollar budget of the Dynamo.
The Dynamo used 19 players and for those who got a game they derived confidence from the experience competing against a seasoned Valencia.
For those who say this was a “C” Valencia team you are also off base.
It was an amazing night of the connection of international soccer for fans and players alike.
For me, the best night of the year at BBVA COMPASS.
Thanks for all the listeners and callers tonight on Dynamo All Access and look forward to hearing from you tomorrow on SOCCER MATTERS brought to you by IRONMAN SPORTS MEDICINE INSTITUTE tomorrow at 8 central time.