The Houston Dynamo went down handily to Seattle in the Western Conference finals on Thursday. For an overachieving young Dynamo team in the first year of a rebuild, not too much shame should be taken from a late November loss to the defending champions at their peak.
As we look back on an eventful 2017 in Houston, DT gives you a concise report on every player’s 2017, from the players who hit 3000 minutes to those who never once got on the field. Feel free to agree:
Calle Brown (GK)
Calle made the bench during the playoffs. Is that enough to make up for not playing a single MLS minute in two years with Houston?
Joe Holland (CM)
Holland, the rookie SuperDraft center mid, made five MLS appearances. Those somehow totaled just 22 minutes. He played well in USOC though!
Jose Escalante (Wing)
Stacked behind a glut of flashy wingers, Escalante put in only 24 minutes. The loan's probably over now. Still has some potential.
Charlie Ward (CM)
Another English center mid. Ward was great in North Carolina and put it a good 45 minutes at D.C. United in July. Not much else going on.
Kevin Garcia (RB)
Houston were down to their fourth RB in the playoffs. This 27-year-old natural right back didn't play. He shouldn't be around next year.
Memo Rodriguez (Attacker)
Memo played five games in July, including three starts. He managed 2g and 1a and looked pretty good. Why didn't he play after that?
Philippe Senderos (CB)
Noted "veteran presence" Senderos was signed midseason and provided steady defense late in the year. Better than expected, actually.
Vicente Sanchez (Attacker)
The elder statesman and Wilmer's secret weapon, Sanchez was dominant in his brief playing time, just 644 mins. Somehow he's 37, with 2g, 5a.
Jalil Anibaba (RB/CB)
Anibaba took a crucial red in the WCF. That's what he'll be remembered for this season. Otherwise, he was shaky in seven appearances.
Tomas Martinez (CAM)
Signed midseason as the coveted Argentine No. 10, he looked pretty good late in the season. Some needed improvements are clear, though.
Joe Willis (GK)
One of the better backup GKs in the league. Willis admirably filled in for Deric throughout the year, especially in the postseason.
Andrew Wenger (RM)
A fine depth piece. Feel like he wasn't maximized, tho. Can play many positions and has experience but couldn't get in despite late absences
Eric Alexander (CM)
Too bad he missed so much time. Eric was the Dynamo's best center mid this season, and should be a day 1 starter next to JDC next year.
Oscar Boniek Garcia (CM, etc)
Somehow Boniek compiled 1,217 minutes. He fell out of favor as the season went on. A locker room favorite and a guy who can play anywhere.
Dylan Remick (LB)
It would make sense to let DMB go and start Remick at left back next year. He was really good in his 15 starts this season.
Romell Quioto (Wing)
Very unfortunate that Quioto only played 1,423 minutes this year. He started really well but various absences derailed his season.
Alberth Elis (Wing)
A lot of the same applies to Elis. Like Quioto, a wonderful player and someone that should be a focal point in 2018.
Erick Torres (ST)
Cubo scored a ton early on, but let's be real: he has a lot of flaws, which don't fit in 140 characters. Has to be sold this winter.
Mauro Manotas (ST)
Manotas, not Cubo, is the answer at striker. He managed to overtake Torres in both minutes and production, becoming a clear Wilmer favorite.
Ricardo Clark (CM)
Rico, 34, barely missed a minute during Alexander's stretch injured. His role minimized in the playoffs, and he should move on this winter.
DaMarcus Beasley (LB)
It's pretty impressive that Beasley played as much and as well as he did at age 35. He's a legend.
Tyler Deric (GK)
Arguably the best on-field stretch of Deric's career was interrupted by a domestic violence arrest and subsequent suspension.
Alex (CM, etc)
Alex's role was rarely defined. Wilmer never seemed to find a role that completely suited him. Could make sense to move him on.
AJ DeLaGarza (RB)
The quietest and most consistent contributor this season, AJD gets the job done every week. An unlucky injury knocked him out late.
Juan David Cabezas (DM)
He hasn't received a lot of recognition, but he was good all year at d-mid. This was a big need for a long time and JDC has solved it.
He wasn't perfect, but Leonardo played a lot this season and was mostly good. Not sure what happened to him late on, though.
Adolfo Machado (CB)
If he hadn't missed the 10/11 game on int. duty, he would've played every minute. He was solid all year, and now he'll get to go to Russia.