In the 2022 player preview series, we are going to look at the current players on the Dynamo roster, how they performed last season, and what we might expect from them in 2022. Here is the next in our series and stay tuned for more to come leading up to the start of the season.
Position – Midfielder
2021 MLS Stats – 10 appearances, 7 starts, 1 goal
Adalberto Carrasquilla joined the Houston Dynamo, on loan at the halfway point of last season. While results for the Dynamo may not have been significantly different after Coco joined, the underlying numbers for the 2nd half of the season were more encouraging.
Data from ASA
While there were other possible influences (Teenage Hadebe’s arrival, Darwin Quintero’s reemergence, possible easier schedule, etc.), I think this shows how much of an influence Coco had on the team. Coco only played in 10 matches, but he brought a needed presence to the midfield. Coco can be a dynamic playmaker with the ability to win the ball back. The Dynamo need a player with both skillsets compared to others who can just create plays (Quintero) or win the ball back (Matias Vera) or neither (Darwin Ceren).
In his annual article, Matt Doyle pronounced Coco as the most important player to the Dynamo’s successes.
“Carrasquilla has the ability to be one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the league, with the range to help cover for Darwin Quintero’s, uh, laissez-faire approach to defense, and the ball progression ability to make up for Matias Vera’s weird reluctance to pass or carry the ball forward.”
I completely agree. When Coco went down in the preseason game against Austin, things really took a downturn. I think Carrasquilla is the only player who can be the link between the defenders and attackers while not being a complete 0 on the defensive side of the ball. Paulo Nagamura has talked about being a possession team. With Memo Rodriguez and Vera most likely starting next to Coco, a lot will be on the shoulders of the Panamanian.
The Dynamo could really compete for the playoffs if they brought in another do it all midfielder to lessen the burden on Coco. Maybe one that plays in Spain, like Coco did before he joined the Dynamo….