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The 2021 MLS season, so far: the good, bad, and ugly

With MLS on break it is a good time to look back on how the Dynamo have fared so far this season.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

With Major League Soccer currently on break for the first of this summer’s international tournaments, it is a good time to look back on how the Dynamo have fared so far this season. This is the good, the bad, and the ugly of Houston’s 2021 MLS season, so far.

The Good

Above the Playoff Line – Houston currently sits in 5th place in the Western Conference, occupying a playoff spot. The season is still very young, and the Dynamo have played one game more than several other teams but, putting points on the board is important. Coming off the break the Dynamo will play at LAFC, home against Portland, and at Real Salt Lake in the span of 8 days. We will see soon if they can keep up their solid form from early in the season.

Maxi Urruti – The Argentine forward came over from Montreal in a trade this offseason and with a crowded stable of forwards, there were questions of who would lead the line this season. Urruti has played in all 8 matches this season, starting 7 of them. He leads the team with 4 goals and has an assist. With rumors of Christian Ramirez heading overseas, the job as starting number 9 looks to be Urruti’s going forward.

Goal in Every Game – The Dynamo, along with New York City FC, are the only 2 teams in MLS this season who have scored in every game. An own goal from the Timbers counts in that tally but the offense has been able to get on the board, even in games where the team struggles.

The Bad

Defense - The defense was supposed to be improved this year, and it is getting there, but Houston has just one shutout this season and has conceded 12 goals in 8 games. If a playoff run is in the cards this fall, the defense is going to have to keep improving and put up some clean sheets.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Passing – Houston is second to last in MLS this season with just 75.1 percent of their passes completed. Atlanta United leads the league at 86.7%. A lot of this probably has to do with the team not having a true “number 10” to be on the ball for a lot of the game and to be the distributor. The Dynamo also try a lot of long passes in games but complete just 53% of them, second worst in MLS. Something needs to change in this area, possession is being lost too often and unneeded pressure is being put on the defense.

The Ugly

Darwin Quintero – The only designated player currently on Houston’s roster, Quintero has played in just 52 minutes this season. The Colombian is clearly not in Tab Ramos’ plans and has not even made the gameday roster of late. Quintero is arguably the most creative player on the team but his inability to even make the bench is a clear sign of his role on this team under this coaching staff. If a team in MLS will take on his salary, a trade makes the most sense.