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Houston Dynamo 2022 ins and outs: midfielders

We look at the midfielders on the roster and give our opinion on the chances they leave Houston this offseason.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Houston Dynamo FC Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 Houston Dynamo season has officially come to an end. While a number of teams around Major League Soccer are preparing for the playoffs, the Dynamo are getting a jump start on the offseason. The question on everyone’s mind is what personnel changes are coming to get the Dynamo back to a relevant MLS club fighting for playoff appearances and trophies. In the coming days we are going to go through the roster and use our best guesses and gut feelings to put a percentage on the chances that each player will be back next season. Today we take a look at the midfielders.

Juan Castilla

Dustyn: Castilla had a strong season at Dynamo 2 and got called in to Colombia’s youth national teams. He still may be a year or two away from contributing for the first team but he is a building block at the club. Chances of leaving: 1%

Rudy: Juan was another player that shined with Dynamo Dos, he started every game that he was available since he did see a lot of youth national team call ups for both the USA and Colombia. There is still a lot of room for improvement for the homegrown but Castilla continues to show growth each year. Chances of leaving: 5%

Coco Carrasquilla

Dustyn: The club’s newest Designated Player in 2023, Coco had a strong season in 2022. Whoever the new coach is will likely be hired for how they envision playing Coco and Hector Herrera together. The rest of the roster will be built around those two, and Sebastian Ferreira. Chances of leaving: 1%

Rudy: Coco was a great pick up by former general manager, Matt Jordan, and an even better keep by general manager Pat Onstad. Carrasquilla has become a commander of the midfield and since we know that the front office has him set as a fundamental piece for the future, Coco is probably not going anywhere. Even if getting the DP label slapped on him for the 2023 season rubs people the wrong way, including myself. Chances of leaving: 5%

Darwin Ceren

Dustyn: The Salvadoran is out of contract and his time in Houston looks to be over. Ceren wasn’t the most talented player and sure you can upgrade at center mid over him, but you will be hard pressed to find someone who works as hard as Ceren did for the club and the city. Chances of leaving: 99%

Rudy: No one in the team has a higher work rate and love for the crest than Darwin Ceren. Even though he appears to be a walking yellow card, the man will give you everything he has in every game and in every practice. The captain of the Salvadoran national team is out of contract and it is difficult to see him back with the Dynamo next season. Chances of leaving: 95%

Hector Herrera

Dustyn: The Mexican star didn’t turn the club around when he arrived this summer but honestly, that wasn’t going to happen overnight. Hector is here for the project and he knows that includes some rough patches. There is a better chance I am named Dynamo head coach than Hector leaving. Chances of leaving: 0.0001%

Rudy: Hector was brought in to change the soccer atmosphere in Houston. He came in strong and took over as the captain for the team and showed his quality on and charisma off the pitch. Unfortunately, results didn’t go the team’s way and the leg injury that kept him out of Atletico Madrid’s team sheet continued to hamper him. Once the Dynamo got eliminated from playoff contention, Hector’s mindset shifted to getting healthy for the World Cup. HH is here for the next couple of years. Chances of leaving: 1%

Marcelo Palomino

Dustyn: Is the master of the free kick at Dynamo Dos ready to make the jump to MLS? The writing has been on the wall for some time but Marcelo is still just 21 years old. I think if Palomino will come back and play for Dynamo 2 while getting a look at first team minutes, that is the best move for all parties. Chances of leaving: 25%

Rudy: The big question here is if Marcelo is ready for MLS. Palomino was a pivotal piece for Dynamo Dos during their inaugural season. Marcelo is deadly from set pieces, but he needs to continue to work and improve on his overall game, Houston is rooting for him to get his breakthrough that is for sure. Palomino being homegrown is easy on the salary cap and his potential holds trade value as well. However, his contract is up, therefore it is a bit tricky. Chances of leaving: 60%

Darwin Quintero

Dustyn: If you saw Darwin’s Instagram last night, it sure looked like he was saying goodbye to the Dynamo and the fans. Quintero is still a class player and can pull some magic out of his hat but he turns 36 next week. For a team that is rebuilding, it seems very likely his option is declined, to allow him to find one more club to find success at before he calls it quits. Chances of leaving: 95%

Rudy: Darwin Quintero has been by far the best player on the field. However, he can’t give you 90 minutes and play every game of the season. And at 35 years old, it will just get more and more difficult to get the best out of DQ. There is a club option to bring him back for the 2023 season, but will that be something that both parties can find attractive? I find it difficult to see. Chances of leaving: 90%

Brooklyn Raines

Dustyn: Raines got his first team debut this season in Seattle and played in the US Open Cup matches.The sky’s the limit for this kid. Brooklyn could be the best homegrown talent the Dynamo have ever had. Chances of leaving: 0%

Rudy: Brooklyn was brought in from Barcelona’s Residency Academy and he was another bright star with Houston Dynamo 2 this season. Raines did get some opportunities with the first team as he started in all 3 US Open Cup matches and saw his MLS debut coming in as sub during the team’s visit to Seattle. Brooklyn has a ton of potential but we need to be patient with him. There will be no surprise if we start seeing more of him with the first team. Chances of leaving: 10%

Daniel Rios

Dustyn: We didn’t see much of Rios this season, with the first team or Dynamo 2, for whatever reason. Rios has continued to play internationally for El Salvador’s youth teams and at 19 year old, he still has a future ahead of him. The question is, will that be in Houston? Chances of leaving: 40%

Rudy: Danny Rios was MIA most of the season with the Dynamo organization. He was omitted from the first team and hardly appeared with Dynamo Dos. Rios got plenty of call ups to the El Salvador youth national team, which was knocked out of the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship by team mate Xavier Valdez and the Dominican Republic. There is a lot of uncertainty for him with the club. Chances of leaving: 60%

Memo Rodriguez

Dustyn: The best thing at this point of Memo’s career might be for him to move on to greener pastures. Memo came in as a homegrown with a ton of upside but he was never going to be able to live up to those lofty expectations put on him by the fan base and some in the club. Memo was a solid MLS player for the Dynamo and if his option is declined, he will find a job somewhere else in the league. Chances of leaving: 95%

Rudy: Memo Rodriguez’s career with the Dynamo has not panned out as many expected. He quickly became a fan favorite due to his work ethic, grit, and homegrown status since he came through the Dynamo academy. His contract is up this year and it might be time for both parties to move on in search of something new. (I’m not crying, you are crying.) Chances of leaving: 90%

Matias Vera

Dustyn: Vera took a big step back in 2022. His defensive midfield role lacked the defensive part and he really was just a link to make two yard passes between the back line and the other midfielders. Vera looks to be getting his green card so he won’t count as an international next year. But, does he fit in a midfield with Coco and HH? Chances of leaving: 33%

Rudy: Shortly after his arrival, the man from Merlo, Argentina took over the defensive midfield role and never looked back. He has been a key in linking the defense with the attack, however, after the arrival of Coco Carrasquilla and Hector Herrera, Mati has lacked the skill of a natural and physical ball winner. If the intention is for the club to feature Coco and Herrera next season, then it’s difficult to see success with Mati as the lone 6. However, he has another year left on his contract. Chances of leaving: 15%