The Houston Dynamo went undefeated at home this season, under the direction of head coach Dominic Kinnear. The Houston Chronicle’s Jesus Ortiz spoke with Bill about advantages the team’s greatest assets and the outlook for postseason play.
Q: Dominic Kinnear has not only presided over two teams that went undefeated at home and he has three conference titles and two MLS Cups to his credit. Is there a better coach anywhere in MLS?
A: I honestly don’t think so. I really do believe that Dom is the best coach in major league soccer. He has the smallest payroll in major league soccer and he’s been able to beat all the big money spenders.
Q: Houston’s home unbeaten streak extends back to June 2011. Are there particular factors other than home cooking and sleeping in one’s own bet that account for that success?
A: It’s a very small pitch. It’s one of the smallest pitches in MLS, only Portland had a field as small as they have at BBVA Compass Stadium. They use their wings, their outside players—you know Brad Davis is one of the best in major league soccer delivering corner kicks—and it’s a lot easier to score on those set pieces when kicks are coming in from shorter distances.
Q: Do you like Houston’s chances in the 2012 postseason?
A: I absolutely do. Their record would be a lot better if they performed better against the weaker teams. Their problems this year, as crazy as it’s going to sound, have been against the weakest teams in major league soccer. Toronto FC, the worst team in MLS, came to BBVA Stadium and got the closest to beating the Dynamo. They led them 3-1 at half. Yet, Kansas City, which ran away with the best record in the Eastern Conference, lost to the Dynamo and tied twice. None of the big teams have winning records against the Dynamo, and that’s why I think the Dynamo could very well be playing on Dec. 1.