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A look at the Dynamo’s depth chart midway through the offseason

With a new center back entering the fold and the SuperDraft approaching, a mid-offseason depth chart.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo have not had an especially active offseason. To recap: they signed Chris Seitz to compete with Joe Willis for the starting goalkeeper job, they brought in veteran attacker Arturo Alvarez to take the place of retired Vicente Sanchez, and on Tuesday, they signed 21-year-old Venezuelan center back Alejandro Fuenmayor.

With a balanced roster that defended well and made the the conference finals despite a slate of injuries, they didn’t have a whole lot of obvious needs, aside from filling out some backline spots and possibly midfield depth. Executed well, they should be able to use the SuperDraft for some of that. (It didn’t seem to work with Joe Holland last year.)

One struggle they faced was deciding how to fill AJ DeLaGarza’s starting right back spot until DeLaGarza returns from his torn ACL. Fuenmayor’s signing provides us a more clear answer to that. Presumably, they will roll with a Beasley — Leonardo/Senderos — Fuenmayor — Machado back four until AJD comes back, at which time Wilmer Cabrera will have some decisions to make at center back.

We do know that Alex is off to a big payday to play for Suwon FC in South Korea, which makes sense considering his roles seem to be filled in this team.

20-year-old Christian Lucatero, long considered one of the Dynamo academy’s top Homegrown prospects, signed with Liga MX club Necaxa, a glaring indictment of the front office’s unwillingness to trust their own talent. Lucatero is like Darryl Philbin in The Office: He was never rewarded with promotion by the current boss, Michael Scott, so he always had to wait for a third-party, Jo Bennett and Sabre, to realize his talent.

The Dynamo are Scott and Necaxa are Sabre. That analogy encapsulates well a fundamental problem in MLS.

But we’re here to break down the depth chart. Here it is, maybe or maybe not including more Office references:

*not signed yet

Goalkeepers

  1. Chris Seitz
  2. Joe Willis*

Seitz, the former FC Dallas starter, is the only ‘keeper officially on the roster. He is a quality starter and all, but they should probably add a couple more.

Willis is out of contract and Tyler Deric is a free agent. Re-signing Willis would make sense, but I doubt they bring back Deric, what with all of his circling off-field issues.

Possible additions

  • DT had the Dynamo picking a keeper, Virginia Tech product Ben Lundgaard, in the first round of SB Nation’s mock draft.
  • Eric Dick is also considered a top college goalkeeper prospect, although it’s not a strong goalie class this year.
  • Last year’s third-stringer Calle Brown is out of contract.
  • Borja Angoitia started a number of games for RGVFC last year.

Left back

  1. DaMarcus Beasley
  2. Dylan Remick
  3. George Malki

Beasley re-signed on Thursday and he’ll most likely start. Remick is one of the best backup left backs in MLS, and Malki is coming off a torn ACL, so hopefully he can pick up some MLS minutes this season.

Possible additions

  • Washington product Justin Fiddes could slip to the Dynamo in the draft.
  • Veteran free agent Shaun Francis can play across the backline.

Center back

  1. Adolfo Machado
  2. Alejandro Fuenmayor
  3. Leonardo
  4. Philippe Senderos

With Fuenmayor (a best XI selection in the Venezuelan Primera Division last year) in the fold, center back is a solid position for the Dynamo. Machado had a good season (have fun in Russia!) and having Leonardo and Senderos as presumptive backups is a positive.

Leonardo was benched late in the season, so it will be interesting to see the dynamic between him and Senderos with AJD out in March.

Possible additions

  • Beyond Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Wyatt Omsberg, it doesn’t seem to be an especially strong center back draft class. The Dynamo don’t really need one anyway.

Right back

  1. AJ DeLaGarza
  2. Adolfo Machado
  3. Kevin Garcia
  4. Andrew Wenger

AJD and Machado are both more than capable here, so they should be solid. I’m kind of dumbfounded by the presence of 27-year-old Kevin Garcia, considering he couldn’t even break into the playoff lineup when the top four right backs were out in the playoffs.

Wenger is the emergency option.

Possible additions

  • Tim Kubel and Brandon Bye are fringe first round talents in the SuperDraft. If the combine performance tests are any indication, Bye is very athletic.
  • Sal Zizzo, Michael Harrington, and Kevin Alston are free agents.

Defensive midfield

  1. Juan David Cabezas
  2. Eric Alexander
  3. Charlie Ward
  4. Eric Bird

Cabezas is one of the most important players on this Dynamo roster, and there is no obvious backup for him on this roster. Alexander could step in if needed, and former USL starters Ward and Bird are on the roster for a reason.

Possible additions

  • Mo Adams is the top d-mid in the draft, though he might be out of the Dynamo’s range. Chris Lema was a combine standout.
  • Ricardo Clark is still a free agent.

Box to box midfield

  1. Eric Alexander
  2. Boniek Garcia
  3. Charlie Ward
  4. Eric Bird

Unless there’s a signing coming up here (this is the only place I could foresee a major acquisition), Alexander has this spot locked up. He was good last season when trusted to pass the ball.

Boniek is a great roster cog.

Possible additions

  • Drew Skundrich and Jake Rozhansky stand out in the draft. If you’re looking at the top, it’s potential No. 1 pick Joao Moutinho.
  • Ben Zemanski stands out in the free agent market.

No. 10

  1. Tomas Martinez
  2. Arturo Alvarez
  3. Boniek Garcia
  4. Memo Rodriguez

Tomas is the man here.

Memo better play at least 1,000 minutes this season, somewhere in the attack.

Possible additions

  • Looking in the draft for a backup 10 is not a bad idea. Pitt product Pol Planellas would be the top candidate.

Winger

  1. Alberth Elis
  2. Romell Quioto
  3. Mauro Manotas
  4. Arturo Alvarez
  5. Andrew Wenger
  6. Memo Rodriguez
  7. Boniek Garcia

The Dynamo have depth at winger. Surprise!

Elis and Quioto are the clear starters, and if there is a backup for Manotas (i.e., if Cubo Torres is back), he would be an option to fill in. Alvarez is the versatile creator, Wenger is the workhorse endline-to-endline contributor and Boniek can always step in. This is a strong position and one that does not really need upgrading.

Forward

  1. Mauro Manotas
  2. Erick Torres

If Cubo is sold, which I’m sure the organization would prefer, then Manotas has a clear road as the every game starter. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to draft a change-of-pace option behind Manotas, though.

Possible additions

  • Danny Musovski, Mohamed Thiaw and Arthur Bosua are among those in the Dynamo’s first-round range.
  • I’ve mentioned Sean Okoli before. I still think he would make sense.