With the news that Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was on his way to becoming one of the centerpieces of Orlando City’s maiden voyage season in MLS, we thought what better way to get to know the keeper than talking to fans of his old club.
We spoke to Derek Stowers, one of the editors at SB Nation’s Houston Dynamo affiliate Dynamo Theory. Derek was awesome enough to answer our questions and is extremely knowledgeable about our new player between the sticks.
How do Houston Dynamo fans feel about Tally Hall leaving? Is it one of those situations where they feel the move is right; do they think they are ready to move forward with Tyler Deric at the helm? Or would fans have preferred to see Tally stay?
Derek Stowers: Dynamo fans have been spoiled for a long time for having great No. 1 and No. 2 goalkeepers. First it was Pat Onstad and Tally Hall, and then it was Tally Hall and Tyler Deric. We’ve grown to really appreciate what Hall does and would’ve loved to have him stay. That being said, in a league with such a low salary cap, Hall commands quite a bit of space. Tyler Deric has shown he’s more than capable of taking control of the net while Hall has been rehabbing from his injury. I think if we could’ve kept Hall, we would’ve liked to. But, we also understand that it’s time to move on. We wish him nothing but the best in Orlando.
What are some of Hall’s biggest strengths; are there any shortcomings Orlando City fans should be aware of with him between the sticks next season?
DS: Hall has developed into one of the league’s best shot stoppers. He has great reflexes and USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has taken notice at times. His biggest shortcoming is his distribution. Hall’s goal kicks and long balls often go out of bounds or aren’t very accurate. It’s something that Klinsmann had noted about Hall as well. Still, he remains a quality piece at the back capable of making difficult saves to keep teams in it.
Tally is 29 which is by no means old for a goalkeeper. He is prototypical height at 6-foot-4, but is coming off of a major injury. In your opinion, is he the type of player Orlando City can build a young defense around?
DS: With Tally, Orlando will get a top tier goalkeeper in the league. Hall has proven he can make the kinds of stops that keep teams in games and his decision making from the back is usually very sharp. The one thing Hall struggled with a bit this year was proving to be a leader and a stronger voice from the back. Long-time veteran center back Bobby Boswell had provided that presence, but we decided to let go of him in the off-season last year and Hall struggled in some ways to adjust.
Do you have a favorite memory or moment from Tally’s time with the Dynamo?
DS: There are a lot of great moments with Hall. He’s produced many save of the week nominations and probably a few wins. Still, my favorite memory of Hall’s goes all the way back to when he was the understudy to Dynamo legend Pat Onstad. Hall was getting sparse playing time and was mostly limited to playing in CONCACAF Champion’s League. In 2009, Hall started against Isidro Metapan, from El Salvador, and actually scored a goal. It was a fluke goal, but a goal nevertheless. Here’s the proof.
Lastly, are there any good songs or chants Orlando City fans can adopt for Tally next year? Are there any off-the-field quirks Orlando City supporters should be aware of when adopting him into the inaugural MLS squad?
DS: As far as songs go, I have a personal favorite. I was at a watch party for the 2011 MLS Cup when the Dynamo fell to the Los Angeles Galaxy. A fairly inebriated Englishman in town on business was watching the game and asked my friends and I about the players, including Tally. I told him that he scored a goal in CCL and he asked his name again and then waited a moment. Then, he started singing a song I’ll never forget: “HE SCORED A GOAL YOU KNOW, HIS NAME IS TALLY HALL” (of course the way he said it made “Hall” and “Know” rhyme some how). As far as off-the-field quirks go, Hall is an avid firearms fan and hunter, so be prepared for camo clothing.
Thanks again to our friends at Dynamo Theory and it looks like Orlando City will be in good hands next year with Tally Hall.