Saturday, February 2, 2008

Corrales coming to Houston

Over on Bernardo Fallas' blog, I saw a reference to a video report in Norwegian that US MNT defender Ramiro Corrales (who has been playing for 2007 Tippeligaen champions SK Brann) had signed with Dynamo. So I followed the link to a video report, which I just watched. Now, I am hampered by the fact that I, of course, do not speak Norwegian (and here I call for help from Playtherapy, who spent several of his young formative years three or four previous lives ago as a plucky American high school kid in Norway, rooting for Viking FK). However, the guy talking seemed pretty convinced to me that Corrales was gone. This is also rumored in news on SK Brann's Web site. Also, Corrales is not listed on the SK Brann roster, while new signing Michael Thwaite is.

Now when faced with this report, Fallas claims Dynamo are denying it, but I believe that the video shows a representative of SK Brann mentioning that he is coming to MLS, that Dynamo own his rights and Houston will be his likely destination.

Of course, with the closing of the European transfer window, this whole thing might just be water under the bridge, but I am the first to admit that the whole player transfer system leaves me a little confused, so maybe that's a big deal and maybe it's not.

One thing that is likely is that Corrales is coming to Houston in a few short days to play for the US MNT against Mexico. What more ideal time to finish this deal?

If this happens, what does this do to the team, who clearly needs help up front and not in the back? I see a few scenarios if Corrales signs:

1. The team makes no further moves for right now and goes with a lineup like this (subs in parentheses):

Onstad (Caig)
Corrales-Robinson-Boswell-Barrett (Ianni, Waibel, Mulrooney)
Mullan-Clark-Davis-Holden (Ashe, Mulrooney, maybe Ianni playing up, Wondolowski)
De Rosario-Ching (Wondolowski, Ashe)

Clearly, the team still needs at least one more forward on the attack, but oh my, WHAT a defense and midfield!!!! Who is going to score on these guys?

2. Dynamo package a deal including Corrales (or his rights) or some other player (maybe, unfortunately but possibly, hamstring-injury-recovering Craig Waibel) for the forward(s) they want.

This just underlines once again how strong the hand is that Dynamo have here. Like many of us in Dynamolopolis, I have been worried about the lack of movement in the offseason (the Wells-Boswell deal the main exception. Look closely and you can see Boswell in the image of the first day of camp yesterday.) and how most of the storylines were ones about players leaving. But when you look at what other teams have and you look at what Dynamo already has in place, you see easily one of the strongest teams, if not THE strongest team, in the league. I am already ready for a Dynamo-DC United rivalry to start taking shape. DCU have rightly gotten a great deal of press for their new signings. But the two teams already shape up as the beasts of their respective conferences and their dates are going to be things to behold. If you can make it to San Antonio for the Texas Pro Soccer Festival in early March to see them play each other in the preseason, you may just see the beginnings of this struggle taking shape. (You can get tickets here.) Looks like a ton of fun.


playtherapy said...

Given your "if nothing changes" probable lineup- do you think Kinnear will stay absolutely faithful to his revered 4-4-2? If there ever was a time to change...

Martek said...

Here's a list of things that will habe to happen before Kinnear will shift out of 4-4-2:

(No, I did not forget to fill out the list.)

Hey dude, please translate the Norga-speke.