2021 is ending as another bust of a season, making it four straight years that the Dynamo haven’t appeared in the playoffs. The season will come to an end for Houston after their away match against CF Montreal on November 3rd, they will not have a game during MLS Decision Day. New owner Ted Segal will look ahead to the 2022 season and make the best decisions during the off season to strengthen the club. As of today, the general manager position is still vacant and the return of Tab Ramos is still up in the air. However, with many (more than 15) players with their contracts set to end on December 31st, here is a list of who has the best chances of being back in 2022 and the ones with that may have played their last season in H-town.
Best chance to be back next season
Coming from rival, FC Dallas, Fafa’s acquisition didn’t necessarily seems to intrigue Houston fans. In pre-season, he demonstrated his super speed, yet at times he just seemed to miss that correct decision in the final third. As the season went on he hasn’t just had a dynamic knack for goals, Fafa has emerged as a Houstonian and Dynamo fans appreciate that. The Gazelle is a work horse not only when attacking but in his relentless way to apply pressure when the ball is at his feet.
Mati was poised to be the team captain before the arrival of Tim Parker during the off season. Vera lets his hard work and professionalism do the talking on the field. His primary position is one of defensive midfield, yet Vera can play a bigger role then just ending the opponent’s possession. The little Argentinian has even scored a few goals this season.
Pash Money was a pleasant surprise after being picked up from Indy Eleven in the USL Championship. The Canadian is the most explosive player on the field for the Dynamo without a doubt. However, after great appearances and earning a spot at the Gold Cup with the Canadian national team, Tyler suffered nagging injury after injury which has limited his minutes. After a full offseason to recover, Pasher can once again be the best attacking piece in an orange jersey.
The kid from Katy seems to have dethroned Marko Maric as the starting keeper. Nelson has been cool, calm, and collected between the posts keeping errors at a minimum. At 26 years of age, Michael is a young goalkeeper that GK coach Paul Rogers has groomed for the last four years and his time is now. So far, he has demonstrated that he has what it takes to be Houston’s keeper of the future.
Ah, Darwin. The Colombian scientist of goals is by far the most creative player on the roster with the ball at his feet. His playing style may not be liked by all but there is no denying his talent. After an outstanding 2020 season with 7 goals and 10 assists, Quintero found himself out of favor with Tab Ramos. However, after the team struggled to create goal chances he was given another opportunity. Quintero has taken his playing time and has ran with it and after his recent performance against Seattle he has made many scratch their heads and wonder “what if he had played more?” Darwin is 34 years old and carriers a hefty salary which will make it hard for him to come back but there is a chance.
Best chance of not being back next season
The Venezuelan played the full 90 minutes in a single match in 2021. 90 minutes. Time for both parties to part ways.
Surprisingly, Boniek started as a center back over Fuenmayor at the beginning of the season. Since then, the Honduran has only appeared in 25% of minutes. El Presidente is Forever Orange and a Dynamo legend but at 37, it will be very difficult to make a case for a contract extension.
The Honduran is a legend just like Boni. Of course, his Dynamo tenure is much shorter but his leadership and skill have allowed the 38-year-old plenty of action. Like his countryman above, Houston needs to look at lowering the average age of this roster and parting ways with Maynor is on the horizon.
The Costa Rican appears to look like a baller, tall and fast, however after scoring a brace (assisted by Alberth Elis) in his debut Ari hasn’t done much. His minutes this season have been limited, yet when he is on the field it’s easy to spot what he doesn’t do compared to what he does to boost the team.
Memo tends to show flashes of greatness at times followed by a ton of wasted minutes. Staying on the bench during your own bobble head night is very telling. The homegrown seems to have one foot out the door. There is no doubt, this one will sting for Dynamo fans.
Of course, a new GM and possibly a new head coach will have a massive part in deciding who stays and goes. As much as we would like the slate to be wiped completely clean, to give the club a fresh start, there are some pieces that can and will be useful for a new regime.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.