The 2016 MLS season is not even three months old yet, and already we have our first coaching change.
The Houston Dynamo announced late on Wednesday night that they have parted ways with head coach Owen Coyle. The reason given for the decision was Coyle’s desire to be closer to his family in England, but the Dynamo are off to an abysmal 3-7-2 start this year in the cutthroat Western Conference.
“I asked (Dynamo president of business operations Chris Canetti) if I could speak with him today and I explained to him the challenge of being away from my family and how we all want the best for Houston Dynamo,” Coyle said in a statement issued by the club. “I want to wish all members of the staff, from owner Gabriel Brener to president Chris Canetti to general manager Matt Jordan, everyone has been such a source of support, along with the players and the technical staff.
“I’d like to thank the Dynamo supporters, who have been outstanding. We have a brilliant club, and I have no doubt success is just around the corner.”
Coyle succeeded Dom Kinnear by signing on as the second head coach in the Dynamo’s history back in December 2014. The Scotsman’s first season in MLS ended with an 11-14-9 record, which was not good enough to reach the postseason.
This year, Coyle and the Dynamo have struggled for results. The club currently sits in last place in the west and has conceded 20 goals while scoring eight. The Dynamo are also winless on the road at 0-6-0.
“It is unfortunate that we were unable to achieve the goals we set forth together and that we find ourselves mutually parting ways as a result of many professional and personal circumstances,” Canetti said in the same statement. “Without a doubt, Owen brought many great qualities to the club since his arrival 18 months ago and made a positive impression on the people around him. He is an excellent coach and an even better person, and I wish him and his terrific family nothing but the best going forward.”
Assistant coach Sandy Stewart has also left the club, which has gone 14-21-11 under Coyle.
Coyle’s departure means that assistant coaches Wade Barrett, Paul Caffrey, and Paul Rogers will lead the Dynamo in the interim, starting with Saturday’s road game vs. the Vancouver Whitecaps.
“I’d like to thank Owen for all of his contributions during his time with the Houston Dynamo,” Dynamo vice president/general manager Matt Jordan said. “He is a true professional, a passionate coach and a good man. We wish him all the best moving forward.”