With a new coach hired, Dynamo fans have now turned their attention to who the team is going to sign this offseason. Goalkeeper Steve Clark signed as a free agent last month and defender Daniel Steres has come over via trade but, these aren’t the big-name signings fans are looking for. A number 9, a pure striker is one glaring hole that Houston needs to fill. Is an old favorite coming back to retake that role? Here’s what we know.
Ever since Mauro Manotas was sold in December of 2020 to Club Tijuana in LigaMX, fans have longed for someone to come in and pick up the goal scoring slack in Houston. Darwin Quintero was added but Darwin isn’t a pure striker like Mauro is.
Now with the Dynamo still looking for a striker, is Mauro coming back? The rumor mill is heating up and Mauro himself has helped add some fuel to that fire. Here is a post from earlier this week that Mauro put on his Instagram stories.
“Battery is at 100. Ready to come back.” The hashtag #foreverorange is also posted on the video of him playing in Houston.
Glenn Davis had new head coach Paulo Nagamura, new general manager Pat Onstad, and new technical director Asher Mendelsohn on his radio show this week and they hit several topics. Nagamura mentioned that he was hopeful to bring in a 9, along with a couple of midfielders. Onstad talked about bringing in designated players and said he would like to bring in at least one during this transfer window. Then today, we got this tweet from Glenn.
Based on interview with @HoustonDynamo gm Pat Onstad and the reference from @MauroManotas19 on social media my gut tells me he may be the #9 that is being referenced. #SoccerMatters #Holditdown— Glenn Davis (@GlennDavisSoc) January 7, 2022
No one is more plugged in to Houston soccer than Glenn Davis. This is indisputable. If Glenn’s gut is telling him something there is a good chance it is happening.
Manotas was a force for the Dynamo from 2017-2019 scoring 42 goals and adding 12 assists during those seasons in Houston. The 2020 season, his last in orange, was a disappointment with just 3 goals and 1 assist in 20 appearances. The Dynamo were the worst team in MLS that season so that wasn’t solely his fault.
Since moving to Tijuana, the Colombian has 9 goals and 3 assists in 34 appearances over two seasons. He hasn’t burst on to the scene in Mexico like he may have wanted to, but we’ve seen what he can do in Major League Soccer. Manotas will turn 27 this summer so he still has plenty in the tank. For a team that needs a goal scorer this just seems to make a ton of sense for both sides.
If the rumors are true and Manotas returns to Houston, how would you feel? Would this classify as a “big signing” or someone you would give Designated Player money to? Mauro was a DP previously (before being bought down in later seasons) and his track record in MLS shows what he can do in a league that can be difficult for some players to adjust to. If the Dynamo were to bring in a young player from South America as a DP you could have that adjustment be too much, on top of other potential pitfalls.
I think if you can get Manotas back, even for a lower end DP contract you absolutely do it. Mauro is the kind of player that this team and this fan base needs. This club needs to find its identity, as has been mentioned by all the new regime of late, and this is the kind of player that can help do that. A player that plays for the badge, that loves the city, that loves the fans, these are the guys you want to build around. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.