Dynamo bring Clark back to Houston

Clark (Getty Images)

Ricardo Clark is returning to Houston. 

The former Dynamo standout central midfielder has re-signed with the club after trying his hand abroad, according to Houston's FOX affiliate, which reported the acquisition as a done deal on Thursday afternoon.

Because Clark left MLS on a free transfer and the Dynamo made him a bona fide offer before he left, Houston maintained his MLS rights, so he was not subjected to the league's allocation order upon his return. And because Clark's contract with Eintracht Frankfurt was terminated as of July 31 and he was a free agent, he was allowed to sign with the team outside of the transfer window.

Clark, 29, began his time with the San Jose Earthquakes/Dynamo franchise in 2005 after starting his MLS career with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. He was a key cog in the Dynamo's MLS Cup championship teams in 2006 and 2007 and departed for Europe along with Stuart Holden prior to the Dynamo's forgettable 2010 season. 

Clark was a starter for the U.S. men's national team during the 2010 World Cup, but he struggled to secure regular playing time at Eintracht Frankfurt and was sent on loan to Stabaek in Norway this past February. With Geoff Cameron departing for Stoke City, Clark provides a well-qualified option to slide into his place in the midfield, where Cameron had shifted up to after starting the season at centerback.

In his return to the national team this past January, Clark scored the game-winning goal in the waning moments of the United States' 1-0 victory over Venezuela at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Depending on Clark's match fitness and when he is officially added to the Dynamo roster, his first game could come against his former team. The Dynamo play the Red Bulls on back-to-back Fridays, starting this Friday at BBVA Compass Stadium, where first place in the Eastern Conference is on the line.


What do you think of this development? Do you think this move makes Houston the favorite to top the Eastern Conference?

Share your thoughts below.

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69 Responses to Dynamo bring Clark back to Houston

  1. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    May be a good player by MLS standards, but really offers little internationally or at higher club levels. Wish him the best though

  2. The Imperative Voice says:

    I have no criticism whatsoever for this acquisition.

  3. Pepe says:

    If he returns to previous Dynamo form, Houston should be the favorite to win the cup.

  4. NE Matt says:

    Saw this coming a mile away. Great for the Dynamo and their fans

  5. betamale says:

    I know this is petty, but I still can’t forgive the mistake against Ghana. Same with Bradley for playing someone clearly not ready to play

  6. BigDave says:

    I likey!

  7. malkin says:


  8. J-Ro says:

    We’re going to another MLS Cup Final this year at this rate. Playing great, coming together, getting Rico back. Doesn’t look like we’re stopping any time soon.

  9. Modibo says:

    Paging Carlos Ruiz, paging Carlos Ruiz – will you please report to the MLS team of your choice for another foot-lashing? Thank you.

  10. RLW2020 says:

    big pick up for a team on playoff bubble. He should fill right in where Cameron left.

    as much as his WC performance hurts US fans, you have to remember his goalazo vs. Trinidad and overall quality play in the entire qualifying run. good to see MLS stars make the most of their time, jumping to Europe when the opportunity is out and coming right back once that opportunity closes.

  11. Woot says:

    I’m a Dynamo fan and I endorse this message/news.

  12. That Coach in NC says:

    Come on. Ricardo was playing great soccer at that time in his career, the guy was just off winning a couple MLS Cups and was playing still reguarly in the Bundesliga appearing in over half the games. He had a bad 30 minutes, you know professionals are human and make mistakes like anyone else. Bradley recognized it, subbed him… we tied the game. It was bad defending that lost us the game, 80 + minutes of it RC wasnt even on the field. Grow up…

  13. Vic says:

    He was playing quite well as a starter in the Bundesliga before his injury. He also did well in Norway. He made mistakes against England and Ghana in the world cup that led to goals. That wasn’t his fault though, he wasn’t ready to play. I fault Bradley.

  14. Andrew in tally says:

    Clark made mistakes against Ghana and England. But he also scored a great winning goal on the road v T&T during qualifying. Messi missed a penalty in Champions League semis. And the headline writer made a subject verb agreement error. It should be Dynamo brings back Clark. Dynamo is singular in American English but would be pl in British English.
    We all make mistakes

    (SBI-Actually Andrew, you’re wrong. According to AP style, which is the established set of rules that journalists in this country follow, sports teams nicknames that are singular are to be treated as plural. It is a rule that changed about 3-4 years ago. It goes against the standard grammar rule, but was changed to make for less awkward writing when dealing with singular team names, which are more prevalent now. So no, there was no mistake. ‘Dynamo bring back’ is correct.

    Thanks for trying to help though.)

  15. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Good move all around. Well done.

  16. beto says:

    that was back when it was either Kljestian, Edu or Clark next to Bradley.. i always wanted Edu to play but no one was a perfect choice.

  17. GSScasual says:


  18. ohknowudidnt says:

    seems like a lot of failures returning to the MLS of late. So how long until Cameron returns in disgrace?
    Other than Dempsey and Howard, who has really thrived overseas from MLS? Feeder league that eats itself.

  19. islandofmind says:

    Who farted?

  20. BFBS says:

    I have felt that Clark is underrated insofar as his ability on the ball. When the coaches trust him to be proactive, as they probably do in Houston, he can be effective to an extent that I wouldn’t be shocked if he approached Osvaldo Alonso’s level of excellence.

  21. Seriously says:

    Michael Bradley for one…

  22. Brain Guy says:

    I guess he did well in Norway, but that’s now the worst team in the league — 7 points from about 20 games.

  23. Matt C says:

    For real… And Holden was named Bolton’s player of the year (and kept them from relegation)!

  24. JRP says:

    How to people really believe crap like this? Maybe a dark horse. And history proves dark horses have a better chance than favorites. But Houston is not even in the top 5 of favorites.

  25. Matt C says:

    And Bocanegra went from the Chicago Fire to Fulham and Rangers. Edu went from TFC to Rangers and won a bunch of hardware and Brian Freakin’ McBride has a pub named after him in the stadium of an EPL team. And these are all just off the top of my head. Yikes.

  26. Dinho says:

    Wow. Just Wow.

  27. MASE NJRB says:

    Jozy, Bradley,Edu,Bocanegra,Holden was until he got hurt.

  28. Bryan says:

    A guy named Kasey Keller..

  29. Bryan says:

    A guy named Kasey Keller..

  30. Hesyourlifelight says:

    John O’Brien

  31. WK says:

    Is he coming in to play CB or DM? If its the former, then he’ll have to prove he can do it as its not his natural position. If its at DM, he’ll push Moffatt out I would think, and possibly effect the team chemistry.

  32. Old School says:

    I think he’s right at home in MLS.

    I have all the respect in the world for Bob Bradley but he was amongst the only that rated him so highly.

  33. Old School says:

    I like the “other than” start to this question…

  34. Bag of dough says:

    Great move

    Houston needs an infusion of athleticism to augment the physical/defensive style they employ.

    Ricardo Clark brings extensive national team experience and international club level pedigree to a team needing something to push it over the hump individual talent-wise.

    Clark brings leadership and savy to a midfield corps that has seen defection after defection over the years

    Great move for everyone involved.

  35. KarlthewonderYak says:

    How do you know Dynamo is singular?

  36. cfig says:

    You haven’t paid attention the last few weeks, have you?

  37. cfig says:

    Do you forgive the other 10 guys? Maybe 9, Howard was ok that game.

  38. cfig says:

    Ok, but besides like the last 5 or 6 that have left recently that experienced considerable success they’ve all failed…or something.

  39. hogatroge says:

    That’s a pretty moronic comment considering they’re in 4th place overall (with a game in hand on SJ and RSL) and have the best streak going in the league.

  40. cfig says:

    I’d assume at the central mid position in the 4-3-3. That actually hasn’t been Moffat consistently, it’s rotated between him, Creavalle, and Cameron during the win streak so I’m not too worried about the chemistry aspect.

  41. hogatroge says:

    You do realize that an injury derailed Rico in Germany, right? When he was healthy, he played well. He lost his place while injured and never worked back into the squad.

    He didn’t light up Norway, but Stabaek is working with a ridiculously young and inexperienced team. He was brought in on a temporary basis to provide some experience and leadership.

    You put up a pretty uninformed comment overall, though.

  42. hogatroge says:

    And good depth for CCL play. Rico knows what playing in Central America is like, and that will be good with 2 crucial CCL road games to start.

  43. the tripod says:

    playoff bubble? the dynamo are number 2 in the east.

    great pick up for the dynamo

  44. atd says:

    This is an article about Clark returning to MLS. Isn’t the fact that he’s a good MLS player what’s really relevant here? Maybe the rest of it’s not so relevant?

  45. Bag of dough says:

    Ricardo Clark’s World Cup issues (real or not) are meaningless at this point.

    The Men’s National team achieved enough success to consider that tournament successful or at least a building point for future success.

    The program has moved on and so has Ricardo Clark.

    He played well when asked to partner with Bradley in the midfield and started consistently for what was then a talented Bundesliga club that reached the upper mid-level.

    Whatever factor preceded his return to the United States surely involved agents, relationships with key personnel at various clubs and “what have you done lately.”

    Houston has done well to hold his rights and bring a solid national team contributor back in his prime.

    Fitness remains the main issue and I’m sure they evaluated his situation extensively.

  46. Upstate Jason says:

    So if Clark and Rolfe both bypassed the allocation order and signed with their old clubs because they left on free transfers then how come every time Bocanegra’s name comes up he’s linked to New England or Vancouver or whoever has top spot in the allocation order? Boca left Chicago on a free after 2003. They must have made him an offer to stay which means his MLS rights are still with Chicago.

    Any chance a SBI writer could confirm this?

  47. atd says:

    Plus Brad Friedel and Marcus Hahnemann (EPL regulars), Demarcus Beasley (a Champions League player), Sacha Kljestan and Michael Parkhurst (both of whom have won championships in top-15 leagues). Ryan Nelsen, Andy Dorman, Stern John — all national team players for other countries who have done well in England after beginning in MLS. And it’s going to get better as MLS continues to be a first stop for talented Caribbean and Central American (/immigrant) kids like Mattocks and Najar.

  48. Patrick says:

    Looks like we have Galaxy fan here. How’s you’re season going buddy?

  49. Old School says:

    Isn’t he back in MLS for the reasons Timmy stated?

    Relevant when observed from that vantage point, no?

  50. Mike r says:

    He is perfect for MLS. Makes a lot of dumb decisions and is a hacker. This is 100% a hackers league. The stupid stuff he couldn’t get away with in intl play in European leagues will fit right in at hack a man MLS. Except for punching people outright even in MLS they frown on that or kicking a ball at someone. Tackles from behind and reckless tackles in general at par for the course thou.

  51. D says:

    That’s funny. The entire USMNT has never forgiven you for being such a bad supporter.

  52. dj says:

    Rico did not make the mistake against England. That is just wrong. His job was to let the runner go. A defender was supposed to pick him up and failed to do so. This is beyond doubt.

  53. William says:

    I don’t understand fans like you….everything is seen through rose-colored glasses. Neither life nor soccer work that way……

  54. Shane says:

    Go Rico, you the MAN

  55. atd says:

    I suppose. No doubt Clark never got back to where he was in 2009. I just think the central story here is that Houston got a good player and Clark gets to play in a decent league again after getting marooned in Norway.

  56. Pop says:

    terrible footballer

  57. Eugene says:

    He sucks and he’s a dirty player.

  58. hogatroge says:

    I’m not 100% sure, but I think ACTIVE, INTEGRAL, CORE USMNT members (not including Clark or Rolfe) are the ones subject to allocation.

    That said, with the number of caps Rico had–even if they weren’t recent–you’d think he would be subject to allocation.

  59. giggity says:

    Thanks for losing us the World Cup in 2010, moron. I am shocked, SHOCKED, that your dirty tackles and poor passes led you back to the MLS.

  60. Mike s says:

    Finally I agree with someone!! This league is brutal and I am thankful they are tyring to clean it up but they have a l o n g way to go. Not pleasant to watch at all. But I still try to support as much as I am able to.

  61. cfig says:

    No, he kicked a dirty player, that’s totally different.

  62. cfig says:

    I’m shocked that any reasonably intelligent fan can blame one singular player for that loss.

  63. Houston Supporter says:

    Nobody likes Rico. We don’t care.

  64. Upstate Jason says:

    I hear ya, just continually frustrated at the inconsistent application of rules by the league. Clark (34 caps) and Rolfe (10 caps) were not subject to allocation order but this time last year Sammy Ochoa (zero senior caps, 2 U23 caps) had to go through it.

  65. Kris says:


  66. Chris H says:

    Shock and awe. Shock and awe. MLS is no “dirtier” than the EPL as far as hard tackles, cheap elbows, tough defending, diving, etc. I mean think about De Jong, Mascherano (now in Spain), John Terry. All called “thugs” by many. It’s a man’s game, a contact sport. People get hurt. Not excusing it, but it happens worldwide, not just here. Sure, MLS players might have slightly worse timing and tackling skill than in other leagues, which equates to more mistimed challenges, but a hard tackle that gets all ball is milliseconds away from being a “dirty challenge”.

  67. Chris H says:

    Sorry…this should’ve been a reply to Mike R and Mike S posts.

  68. Matt says:

    Hey look it’s a hater.