Houston Dynamo logo - generic image

Armchair Analyst: One big question for Houston Dynamo

One Big Question: Will Darwin Quintero fit on the wing?

Teams don't usually go shopping for someone else's DP, but the Dynamo did and I absolutely get it. Darwin was electric at times last year (including against Houston in the US Open Cup), and still has game-breaking ability both on and off the ball. He's not precisely young but, at age 32, he's not precisely old, either. He makes sense as this team transitions to the Tab Ramos era.

And as it stands, it looks like Darwin will be playing on the left wing – his old home with Santos Laguna when he was legitimately one of the best players in North America – in front of a front-foot, three-man midfield.

There is ample reason to think it will work. There is also ample reason to think that Darwin's... let's call it "lack of interest" in defending will be a massive handicap that completely exposes that side of the pitch, tilts Houston's midfield until it's out of balance and allows them to get shredded up the gut.

Minnesota mostly tried to hide Darwin as a second forward in a 4-4-1-1 with a hard-working center forward and two ball-winning d-mids behind him, and sometimes it worked. Often, though, it did not, and eventually he got himself benched.

Houston don't have the resources to bench a player of Darwin's caliber. Ramos is going to have to figure out how to make it work.

Series: