As previously reported the Houston Dynamo made an early splash in the offseason market by acquiring the versatile attacking player Darwin Quintero. The former Minnesota United FC player featured 57 times for the Loons, scoring in 21 of those outings. When in peak form, he could unseat several existing players from their starting roles which will all depend how the rest of the offseason goes and how new head coach Tab Ramos wants to line up his side.
The Dynamo have a wealth of attacking talent at the moment and it certainly seems like more moves will be in the works by General Manager Matt Jordan. The primary starting offensive trio last season was Romell Quioto, Mauro Manotas, and Alberth Elis and it’s entirely possible that all three will be moved before the new season kicks off. Quioto had on and off the field issues that spread from former Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera to the interim manager Davy Arnaud which kept him routinely out of the team sheet by the end of the year.
Manotas meanwhile has been linked to other clubs throughout the 2019 campaign including Cruz Azul and an unnamed European outfit. While Manotas had signed a long term extension prior to the start of last season, he could have a capable replacement in Christian Ramirez. The two are similar in their style of play, but they also quickly developed chemistry playing alongside each other with one usually staying higher up the field as a hold up player and the other dropping slightly deeper as a ball winner and quick distributor.
Similarly, Alberth Elis has also been a player to have rumors surrounding his future, but he reportedly desired to play out his contract and leave on a free transfer. Now the Dynamo could honor that and keep the speedy winger or could try to cash out and get something for someone who wants to move out of Houston in the near future.
Another player who could be displaced by Quintero is Tomás Martínez. Martínez has had a mixed reception in Houston. While I tend to think some of his work as a number 10 was undermined by a one dimensional offense, others saw him not connect the midfield with the forwards which a true 10 should. Other players to be potentially affected by the signing include Memo Rodríguez, Tommy McNamara, Niko Hansen, and Ronaldo Peña.
As mentioned above where Quintero fits in along with everyone else in the offense depends on the moves Matt Jordan makes before the new season and how Tab Ramos wants to line up his side. Ramos has favored high pressing and possession based teams which likely means some form of a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Personally, I can’t wait for preseason to be underway to see how things begin to take shape.
If I were to make a prediction, I find it hard to imagine that we lose Quioto, Manotas, and Elis, but could easily see two out of Houston before the new season and I think Elis could be the one staying. I would be very disappointed seeing Manotas go because of how well he and Ramirez grew in a short amount of time, but we have a capable replacement in Ramirez. I think a top three of Quintero – Ramirez – Elis is very possible in a Tab Ramos offense, but it all depends.
How do you think the Quintero signing shapes this offense and what moves do you predict Matt Jordan will make? Let us know in the comments!