Houston Dynamo FC have made huge strides in the offseason. Heading into 2021. DynamoTheory.com was able obtain a Q&A with Tab Ramos, head coach of the Houston Dynamo. Immediately after the draft, he spoke of the differences between last off season and this one. He acknowledged that this offseason has provided the opportunity to make moves that are in line with how he is trying to shape the club both on and off the field. Any time a player is moved it benefits the team because it opens the door for more competition and ultimately a door for someone to move through. The move of Kiki Struna out of town was instrumental for the Dynamo on a number of fronts including both the backline and up top. Each of the moves thus far benefits Dynamo in any number of ways as explained by Ramos.
“The acquisition of Tim Parker improves our backline the most. With the Struna trade, we were able to improve our front line by adding a player like Maxi Urruti and clearing space on our salary cap,” began Ramos. “Maxi Urruti is an endless worker and a player who is always fit. He fits the profile of an attacking player we were looking for. He is at the perfect age to contribute to our team on the attacking end.”
Fans should almost be salivating over the offensive combinations at Ramos’ disposal. On paper, you have a proven and consistent scorer in Urruti that might be paried with Darwin Quintero who tied for the MLS lead in assists 2020. Don’t forget, you still have guys like Christian Ramirez, who is ready to regain his form as a consistent scorer. On the wings, you have players like Ariel Lassiter and Fafa Picault that can both facilitate and find the back of the net. Add to that the fact that we haven’t even seen what a guy like Mateo Bajamich can do on the pitch.
On the defense, the addition of Parker also opened the door for Derrick Jones and Ethan Bartlow which would turn what was a mediocre at best backline into a solid entrenchment of guys who know what it takes to play winning defense. The better the backline, the better keeper Marko Maric becomes.
“Our most important need was to add defensive talent. We maximized our No. 3 pick. We exchanged it and received a good amount of GAM and the No. 6 pick” continued the Dynamo head man. “We used the GAM to acquire Derrick Jones and the No. 6 pick to get the best center back in the draft, Ethan Bartlow.”
With all the moves going on, the Dynamo still found time to woo Martin Vasquez. This may be the biggest signing of all. Not only do the Dynamo reunite Vazquez and Ramos but they have a player who has played and coached at the highest levels of the game. His value is priceless to the organization.
“Martin Vasquez’s role is to be an assistant coach on our first team. He will have many responsibilities within that role, such as scouting our opponents and helping design and run training sessions. Additionally, it is a great advantage to have Martin’s experience in developing youth players as we build out our U23 team and as we keep an eye and work with our Academy,” concluded Ramos.
Vasquez is a player developer by choice. He had the offers to coach but instead toiled at teaching and developing younger players into seasoned players. His skill at communicating and teaching are second to none.
Although, there is much “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude from season ticket holders, the Houston Dynamo FC have made the moves that back up what Ramos has been preaching. He has talked consistently about winning now and not five years down the road. He has consistently extolled the virtues of playing aggressive, smart football predicated on scoring and a stout defense. 2021 may just be the year in which the team finally puts it altogether for the first in a long time.