tBG) Sheanon Williams was beloved by fans of the Philadelphia Union, and while it's a part of the business, seeing him go was hard on a lot of fans who grew to know Shea and his family. How is he adjusting to life in Houston?
DT) He has been very good and is fitting right in. When he first arrived we were very low on defenders who were healthy, available, and not exhausted from a heavy schedule. He came a day or two before our match against the LA Galaxy and played very well. He has started every game since his arrival and has been a lock at right back and has played at left back when we've needed to adjust the back due to injuries.
Williams even has 2 assist tallies in 8 games which is very productive for a defender. He's always looking to make good runs into the opponent's half and has linked well with a variety of players moving forward which has opened up crossing chances for Williams and other players. So far, he's been a very positive influence on this squad and hopefully our club culture is affecting him positively as well.
tBG) After four years in the Eastern Conference, the Dynamo are back in the (much tougher) Western Conference. How has that transition been, and do the fans have a preference for which conference the Dynamo play in?
DT) I think that there are still plenty of us that wish we were in the Eastern Conference because we haven't been doing so hot lately and if we were in the Eastern Conference we would be in that final playoff position over Montreal. However, I think it's good for us to be back in the West. We get more matchups with
FriscoDallas and Sporting Kansas City which are always entertaining.
I think fans have been less concerned with which conference we're in and more disappointed with the season as a whole. At times games have looked uninspired and the season has generally been one of transition as new head coach Owen Coyle adjusts to MLS and gets his squad sorted out. I would say fans probably prefer the East, at least this year, simply because it's a little bit easier, though I think even in that final playoff spot the same criticisms would persist.
tBG) The Dynamo matches I've been able to watch have seemed pretty well attended. How do the Dynamo fit into the Houston sports landscape, with the Texans, Astros, and Rockets all fighting for attention?
DT) First of all, thank you for acknowledging the Houston sports landscape because it often gets overlooked by larger markets. It hasn't been easy for the Dynamo to compete for time, but there is a very loyal contingent of followers that attend games. The Dynamo will generally fall to fourth in popularity on that list (depending on how the Astros are doing), but we'll still be able to get at least 17,000 in BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston is a large enough city to share attention with all of these sports - we are the 4th largest after all (we're coming for you Chicago!). I just wish we had a hockey team to follow too...
Projected Lineup: Tyler Deric; DaMarcus Beasley*, AJ Cochran, David Horst, Sheanon Williams; Brad Davis, Nathan Sturgis, Ricardo Clark, Giles Barnes; Erick Torres, Will Bruin
*Beasley has been injured but recently returned to limited training. If he isn't fit I expect Kofi Sarkodie to start who should be healthy to play by game day.
Predicted score: 2-2 in a draw that disappoints both sides that desperately need points.
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