The Houston Dynamo FC is scripting an exciting chapter in its history, making waves in the MLS Cup and showcasing a remarkable revival under Ben Olsen in 2023. For the first time since 2017, the team has reached the Western Conference semifinals, overcoming obstacles with resilience and determination.
In Saturday’s thrilling clash, the Dynamo emerged victorious over Real Salt Lake, securing their spot in the semifinals after an intense battle decided on penalties. Ben Olsen, who took the reins just over a year ago, is shaping a team that not only plays attractive soccer but also embodies a courageous mentality, reflecting his own experience as a player and coach.
The win against Real Salt Lake highlights not only the team’s technical prowess but also the resilience shown against a formidable opponent. The team’s offseason overhaul, incorporating experienced and winning players, is proving to be a successful strategy, as evidenced by the performances of veterans such as Héctor Herrera, Corey Baird, and Steve Clark.
The young star Griffin Dorsey, at 24, took on the responsibility of taking the decisive penalty, emphasizing the trust placed in him by teammates and the coach. His crucial performance underscores the diversity of talents Olsen has at his disposal and the cohesion being built within the team.
Real Salt Lake’s physical and challenging approach was met with maturity by the Dynamo, showcasing not only technical skill but also the experience of players who have been in big moments before. The leadership of Danish international defender Erik Sviatchenko was crucial in keeping the team focused and regrouped in crucial moments.
The quick turnaround of the Houston Dynamo is surprising, considering that just over a year ago, Ben Olsen took over as head coach. The achievement of the 2023 U.S. Open Cup and reaching the Western Conference semifinals are notable feats reflecting not only the team’s technical quality but also the effectiveness of Olsen’s team-building work.
As they prepare to face Sporting Kansas City in the semifinals, the Dynamo’s message is clear: keep dreaming and believing. The optimism and confidence in the team’s new identity are palpable. When asked about dreaming of winning the MLS Cup, Ben Olsen responds with a bold rhetorical question: “Why not? You can dream!”
The Dynamo is not just playing soccer; they are telling an inspiring story of overcoming, renewal, and determination. The journey towards the MLS Cup is filled with challenges, but the Houston Dynamo is showing that with resilience and belief, dreams can come true.