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Houston’s Three-Peat Chances Fading?

The Dynamo, known to some fans as “The Orange Crush”, may be in line to be “crushed” themselves by opponents in 2008 due to the impending loss of two forwards. Joseph Ngwenya, who scored the equalizer for Houston in last year’s MLS Cup victory, is headed to Austria to play for SK Austria Karnten. Meanwhile, Nate Jacqua also is currently in Europe testing the transfer waters and several reports have indicated he also intends to depart from the back-to-back champs.

Sure, Houston still has its all-time leading scorer, Brian Ching, to place up front. Furthermore, Jacqua has always been considered an underachiever and Ngwenya, despite some inspired play at the end of the last season, has been sometimes criticised for his inconsistent play and selfish attitude.

Regardless of their faults, one cannot deny that Jacqua and Ngwenya provided Houston with a much-needed commodity in today’s MLS: depth. As Europe continues to perpetually poach the league’s top talent and many players have to miss a good number of games to play for their national teams (Ching, for instance), MLS teams require a degree of depth beyond that of most leagues. If players like Jacqua and Ngwenya, who are considered “underachievers”, can make the leap to Europe, and choose to do so, one wonders who will be left to compete here in America.