The Houston Dynamo enter another off-season earlier than the fan-based would have hoped for. One post-season appearance in 9 seasons, is painful to say. However, the harsh reality sets in and now the club needs to look to improve the squad if the play-offs are truly a goal soon. The club has not released the official year-end roster decision, in which the Dynamo announce which players options have been exercised, declined or out of contract for the next season. One thing is for certain, new faces will be wearing the orange jersey in 2023. Here are the top 5 players who came to Houston and sparked the attack in their first season with the Dynamo. (All stats are mlssoccer.com)
5. Darwin Quintero – 2020 (7 Goals, 10 Assists)
2020 was an interesting year to say the least. The world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and life without sports was rough for a few months. However, the Colombian playmaker was the best attacking piece for Houston when the season got underway. His creativity was critical during his career with the Dynamo and that year it was a very successful season for Quintero. Including the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament (aka the Bubble), Darwin scored 7 goals and assisted 10 goals in the shortened season. The Houston Dynamo finished the regular season in 25th out of 26th overall in the table and didn’t make the knockout phase of the MLS is Back Tournament.
4. Alberth Elis – 2017 (10 Goals, 4 Assists)
Alberth, a 20-year-old Honduran that many didn’t know about, joined the club on loan from Monterrey in 2017. Elis quickly showcased his talent and propelled Houston with his speed and tenacity in the attack. La Panterita became a menace for any fullback that was given the tough task in marking him. Alberth scored 10 goals and set up 4 more during the 2017 season. The Houston Dynamo made the playoffs that year, making it all the way to the Western Conference Final where Seattle Sounders won the series.
3. Fafa Picault – 2021 (11 Goals, 5 Assists)
Fafa joined the Houston Dynamo in 2021 after spending a season with Texas Derby rivals, FC Dallas. Funny enough, his best game that season was against Houston where he scored a brace. His arrival was questioned by some due to such ties, but Fafa responded by putting up great performances and tallying up goals and assists. Picault had himself a career-high season finishing with 11 goals and 5 assists. The season for the club was not a good one overall, as the Dynamo finished dead last in the Western Conference.
2. Dwayne De Rosario – 2006 (11 Goals, 5 Assists)
Oh, D-Ro, how we love you and miss you. The Canadian superstar landed in Houston, thanks to the relocation of one of the best MLS teams of all time in the San Jose Earthquakes. De Rosario and company didn’t miss a beat in the inaugural season of the Houston Dynamo. D-Ro finished with 11 goals scored and 5 assists. The Houston Dynamo went on to win the first of their back-to-back MLS Cups that season.
1. Sebastian Ferreira – 2022 (13 Goals, 3 Assists)
No one has scored more goals in their first season with the Houston Dynamo than Sebastian Ferreira. What makes this even more incredible is that he put up numbers without much support around him. Sebas scored all kinds of goals this season. Ferreira scored with his left, with his right, with his head. He scored sitters, volleys, and from outside of the box. He hit a 50-yard banger against Austin FC that won goal of the week. The Paraguayan is a very skillful striker, now the plan should be to bring in players that can assist him further and for him to continue to knock the ball in the back of the net. Sebastian scored a total of 13 goals and assisted 3 more, finishing his first year with the team as a good pickup for general manager Pat Onstad. This season is still fresh; therefore, it is known that the Dynamo didn’t qualify for the playoffs again in 2022.