Signed on January 5, 2020, Marcelo Palomino has played a lot of soccer since that time. In 2022, it appears he has found a home again in Houston. The three time Dynamo Academy is progressively building his way to a first team career.
The Houston native played just 21 minutes after signing in 2020. The Dynamo loaned him out in 2021 for some valuable playing in the USL Championship League. It was time that has served him well in 2022.
In the USC League, he made 24 starts in 32 appearances across all competitions. As a member of the Charlotte Independence, he found the back of the net six times but what he learned about himself as a person and a professional was even more profound. The loan forced him to learn how to flourish away from his Texas environment.
Palomino believes that playing with former EPL players taught him a lot about what it would take for him to get to the next level. He credits defender Christian Fuchs (former captain of the Austrian national team) with helping him learn how to be a professional. The midfielder learned things like how to go about your business day in and day out and what it takes to get to that next level. He soaked up the knowledge like a sponge.
The youngest of seven kids, Marcelo began playing soccer within the Dynamo program at the age of 11. Eventually, he would be recognized as the best of the best in the Academy program three consecutive seasons. At 18, he went to Europe to see how he stacked up with European players. He had opportunities with FC Porto (Hector Herrera's club at the time), and TSV 1860 Munich just to name a couple. The experiences he gained helped shape him and prepare him for where he is at this moment.
The 21 year old has become a key cog for the Dynamo Dos in 2022. He scored his first MLS NextPro goal in a 1-0 win over the Tacoma Defiance just weeks ago. His current head coach Kevin Bundy credits the Houstonian's experiences abroad and with Charlotte as monumental for his current team.
“Yeah, it's a great leap, because experience is a weird thing. I think people equate experience to age and that's the right way to look at it. Because obviously, as you get older, all of your experiences start to compound up and you can give advice. All of these experiences, it makes people around them better and more. So Marcelo having the path that he's had is helpful for Brooklyn (Raines). It's helpful for a Juan (Castilla). It's helpful for a D'Lo (Herrera) and a Diego (Rosas)."
Palomino is a student of the game. It's something he has picked up along the way from more veteran players. He works constantly on understanding everyone's position on the pitch. He wants to be able to read the game faster and smarter, a skill that will hopefully make him indispensable. Number 6 desires one day to be the center mid for his hometown Dynamo but he will play where ever they want him if it means being in the Starting XI at PNC Stadium on matchday.