Premier League

Houston Dynamo 2024 MLS season preview: Tactics, predicted XI, predictions

Jan Gregus

Houston Dynamo returned to MLS relevancy in 2023 thanks in part to the brilliance of Hector Herrera and the guidance of first-year head coach Ben Olsen.

It would’ve been reasonable to expect a rebuilding season in Olsen’s first year in charge. But he wasn’t really having any of that, as he hit the ground running at Shell Energy Stadium to guide Houston to a fourth place finish in the Western Conference table and a return to MLS Cup playoffs for the first time since 2017.

But Houston didn’t stop there. Olsen instilled new confidence into the team, helping create a new identity that saw them reach the Western Conference final and lift the US Open Cup title over Inter Miami. In 2024, Olsen and the Dynamo won’t be looking to take any steps back as they aim to become playoff regulars out West.

Here’s everything you need know about Houston ahead of the 2024 campaign.

Jan Gregus

Jan Gregus is Houston’s only signing thus far / Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Transfers in


Former Club


Jan Gregus

Minnesota United

Free transfer

Transfers out


Club Joined


Chase Gasper

Chicago Fire


Thor Ulfarsson



Corey Baird

FC Cincinnati

Free transfer

Isaiah LeFlore

Philadelphia Union


There’s no other way to put it: Ben Olsen worked his magic in 2023 with the Dynamo. That’s not to say that Houston don’t have a talented squad, but when compared to other MLS rosters, Olsen essentially did more with less.

Yes, there’s the likes of Herrera, Corey Baird (who departed as a free agent for FC Cincinnati) and Coco Carrasquilla, but the Dynamo just don’t have the star-studded squad when compared to the likes of LAFC, Atlanta United or Miami. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing — they were one game away from MLS Cup — as it shows that Olsen is truly a top-quality coach that has managed to get everyone on the same page.

Olsen leaned heavily on the 4-2-3-1 system in his first season as Houston boss, allowing Herrera to pull the strings as a deeper-lying midfielder. Amine Bassi created chances up front for the likes of Baird, who’s set to be replaced by Carlos Ferreira as he’s returned from a loan spell at Vasco da Gama.

Olsen’s side might not be exactly what you think of when you hear “possession-based team.” But their 53% possession during the regular season speaks for itself. When defending, Olsen’s team knows how to sit in and pick when to pressure and force turnovers in dangerous positions. His tactics proved to be effective and pick up results, as they conceded…

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