The Houston Dynamo follow up their 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s match at the Desert Showcase with a Saturday afternoon tilt with the Colorado Rapids. The opening 45 against Real Salt Lake saw mostly veterans on the pitch and gave an insight into what Houston fans could see in 2022. For head coach Paulo Nagamura, the start was a step in the right direction. With a flurry of activities by the organization in the last few weeks, fans can only hope that the flame of success in Houston soccer has been relit.
Here are three reasons why the Houston Dynamo have reason to be excited coming into Saturday.
Quintero played like a youngster
Last season, one was never sure whether the Houston Dynamo were just going through the motions or believed in what former head coach Tab Ramos was selling. Although it’s just one game and a new coach is pacing the sidelines, it appeared that players like Quintero really want to be here. Pride is a funny thing and guys like Darwin Quintero who it appeared would not be wearing orange (or whatever other colors the kits are) in 2022 played like a 20 year old full of energy and life. The Houston Dynamo website’s recap described him as a “lively presence.” Quintero got the assist on Houston’s only goal.
Played without Teenage Hadebe and “Coco” Carrasquilla
Hadebe and Carrasquilla are key components to the Houston Dynamo making a big step forward in 2022. To be able to play without those two on the pitch and look good is a nice accomplishment for a team in search of an identity. Both are young players that the Dynamo will count on heavily in 2022. Hadebe will be counted on along with Tim Parker to anchor the Dynamo backline. Both the African National Team footballer signing and Parker’s extension were announced simultaneously cementing them together as integral parts of the Houston soccer landscape moving forward.
Carrasquilla, a much sought after player even at 22 years old, was obtained by Houston in early August of 2021. He appeared in 10 games with seven starts for for former head coach Tab Ramos.
Ramos upon his signing described the Panamanian with these words.
"“Adalberto is a young player who has excellent technical ability in possession, as well as the creativity to generate opportunities for his teammates and for himself,” Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos said. “Although there were several teams looking to add him, we are happy that he chose to be in Houston with our club.”"
The midfielder brings plenty of experience having represented Panama 19 times over the last three years. A combination of him and Quintero could be lethal offensively for the Dynamo.
Game plan execution
For at least one game, both the veterans in the opening half and the youngsters in the second 45 appear to understand what is expected. More importantly, they seem to have bought in early to the expectations. Here was Nagamura’s assessment after the 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
"“One thing that is very notable about this group is that they are very coachable and they’re very eager. I think everyone understands the situation – that the club wasn’t where we want it to be. They’re really, really sticking to what we are trying to implement. They’re very, very coachable and they are very open toward the new way that we want to approach the game. So again, they showed that in the game against Real Salt Lake, hopefully we can keep consistently showing tomorrow against a very good team and keep progressing. Like I always say, it’s not going to look perfect in the first game, but I think as a starting point from our last game, I think it was a good and positive from the group that we have.”Saturday at 5:00PM CT will be another stepping stone to returning this team to the glory days of nearly a decade ago. Fans can watch the game at www.Houstondynamofc.com/live."