HOUSTON — "El Honduras Dynamo."
That's what Honduran sports daily Diez recently called the Houston Dynamo, and the name is not inappropriate. Houston went back to the well this offseason in acquiring forwards Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto, making them the sixth and seventh Honduran players in club history to don the orange.
Of the previous five — Boniek Garcia, Luis Garrido, Alexander Lopez, Carlo Costly and Jose Escalante — only Garcia has stood the test of time and been a consistent contributor to the club. Elis and Quioto stand to change that, and their skills on the international level are evidence of their capabilities.
Garcia, for his part, also had a hand in landing the new forward tandem. During November’s pair of World Cup qualifiers for Honduras, the new Dynamo forwards got a chance to speak with Garcia about the league and the Dynamo in particular.
“We were talking about what it’s like and I told him there was a possibility to come here,” said Quioto, who scored in one of the qualifiers. “He said the league was good and talked really good about the team and that motivated me to come here. It’s going to be important for us to have his companionship on the team.”
The area does have a booming Honduran population, and Honduras' national team, nicknamed Los Catrachos, have embraced Houston as a second home. They have played a number of friendlies here and will play another next month, and have also drawn strong crowds in the city for CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.
Honduran side CD Olimpia, where Garcia, Garrido, Lopez, Escalante, Quioto and Elis played before joining the Dynamo, have played CONCACAF Champions League matches in Houston as well.
That wasn't the major consideration in bringing in more Honduran players, GM/VP Matt Jordan said, but it's a benefit.
"The Honduran players, those profiles, transition well to Major League Soccer," Jordan said, "and throughout the history of the league, that’s been proven. Obviously it’s just an added bonus that there’s a huge demographic in our city of Honduran community, so it’s kind of a win-win situation.
“But first and foremost it’s about the quality of the player on the pitch and with Romell and Alberth, they’re going to be two good additions for the club.”
For Elis, the decision to sign with the Dynamo was influenced by Houston’s large Honduran population.
“I know there are a lot of Latinos and that is going to help. Seeing the city helped my decision,” he said. “I know that we are going to have a lot of Honduran fans here, so that’s going to bring a lot of joy to the national team and to the Dynamo.”