Author: Nicholas Rosano | Cover illustration by Duane Tomaszewski
There’s a new air about Dynamo in 2017. Gone are many of the mainstays from years past, and new to the team are an intriguing mix of young and experienced players to go along with a new head coach in Colombian youth guru Wilmer Cabrera, who most recently lead the Dynamo’s USL affiliate. It will still be an uphill struggle for Houston, especially as the grind of the season starts to take hold and depth becomes an issue. However, Houston fans can look forward to some moments of magic from a team on the rise.
Key Offseason Transactions
|KEY PLAYERS IN:||KEY PLAYERS OUT:|
|Alberth Elis (F)|
Juan David Cabezas (M)
A.J. DeLaGarza (D/M) All transactions
|Cristian Maidana (M)|
Will Bruin (M)
Sheanon Williams (D)
David Horst (F)
Player to watch: Erick "Cubo" Torres
The Dynamo’s Mexican DP has had a couple years to forget since his breakout 2014 season with Chivas USA, but there are strong hopes that the man known as ‘Cubo’ will be back in the ascendancy in 2017. The primary reason for that optimism? Torres is once again reunited with Cabrera, the man who oversaw his rise to prominence at Chivas USA. With two dynamic young wide men on either side of him, as well as crafty veteran Vicente Sanchez off the bench, Torres should have ample opportunities to start living up to his price tag.
How they'll play
HEAD COACH - WILMER CABRERA
Look for Houston to play a no-frills 4-3-3 that takes advantage of their physical midfield three to make the middle of the park a living hell for opponents. The two new Honduran arrivals on the wings, Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis, should bring speed, trickery, and a few goals to complement Torres at the No. 9 spot.
Projected Starting XI
4-3-3, right to left: Tyler Deric (GK) — A.J. DeLaGarza (D), Leonardo (D), Adolfo Machado (D), DaMarcus Beasley (D) — Juan David Cabezas (M), Ricardo Clark (M), Alex (M) – Alberth Elis (F), Erick 'Cubo' Torres (F), Romell Quioto (F)
8th in Western Conference. There’s little doubt the Dynamo have gotten better in the offseason. But in a cutthroat Western Conference, have they done enough to become a playoff team? The consensus among our group is not quite, but with a largely revamped team, there's certainly a possibility that the Dynamo could fight their way into the No. 6 spot in the West.