(Only includes players that featured in five or more matches. Also, wingers will be included with the forwards)
Eric Bird: The primary captain for the 2017 Toros, Bird continued to showcase his versatility in the midfield. He played both in attacking and holding roles for the Toros.
Emilio Garcia: Battled injuries this season, but is a high energy player in the middle of the park. He is aggressive pushing the attack and very willing to win back a ball via physical defense. He’s also gifted on set pieces.
Joseph Holland (Dynamo): The 2017 Houston Dynamo first round pick, Holland impressed me every time he played with the Toros. He’s very creative on the ball and helps open things up in the final third.
Jorginho James: Just as he was in 2016, Jorginho is an absolute stopper in the midfield. He’s remarkably strong and knows how to use his size. On the other end, he got more confident on the ball and scored the Toros’ Goal of the Year (watch below) in my opinion. He did miss most of the second half of the season, possibly due to injury.
Christian Lucatero (Dynamo): Like Holland, Lucatero was fun to watch every time he got a chance to play. He got more action this season, but still not enough, in my opinion. He can make every pass on the field and has a natural gift of setting up teammates.
Charlie Ward (Dynamo): Signed away midseason by the Dynamo, Ward was sorely missed by the Toros. Playing every minute in 2016, he was the conductor again to start this year. His distribution and football IQ are elite and honestly, he was too good to be playing in the USL.
Todd Wharton: He was unfortunately the guy that was plugged into Charlie’s spot, after he left for the Dynamo. He was solid in that role, often leading the team in passing, but it didn’t seem to be his natural position.
Eric Bird got the chance to play with Houston for the Open Cup matches and he’s definitely someone Wilmer Cabrera trusts. While he doesn’t excel in one area in particular, his versatility could be valuable for Houston. Jorginho James could be another option for the first team, but he would occupy an international spot. The Jamaican can interrupt the attack at any level and could help spell Juan David Cabezas if Houston brings him back.
Christian Lucatero needs to play almost every match next season. He’s supremely gifted and needs the time on the pitch. He has long been considered one of the top talents from the Dynamo academy system and needs to continue his development in the USL. He can be special in the future for Houston if they handle his budding career correctly.