If just one additional player means the playoffs for Houston Dynamo FC, it might be an attacking midfielder already in their reserves.
Coaches have the right idea that something is missing late in games for Houston Dynamo FC. But in Vancouver recently they moved a forward out for an extra defender.
Then Vancouver Whitecaps FC won the match in second-half stoppage time.
It’s not a defensive spark off the bench that will make the difference in Dynamo games. But the staff during recent games obviously has looked and become convinced they don’t have such an option on offense.
To get such an option, the club could establish a rich budget and look worldwide. But two strong options play for the Houston Dynamo FC 2 reserve team.
The first of those options is midfielder Marcelo Palomino.
Palomino first showed up on Dynamo Supporters’ radar in 2017. That’s when he was named by MLSsoccer.com.
He was in the U.S. U-17 residency program at the time in Bradenton, Florida. He was among just a few there in the 16-year-old group and had previous experience with the U-16 National Team.
Coming back to year 2022, Palomino continues to make good on what scouts always expected. He’s most advanced in ball control, crossing/passing, and dribbling. His awareness on the pitch is exceptional.
He demonstrated how far he’s developed in the last two Dynamo 2 games, scoring on a free kick against Vancouver Whitecaps 2 and then a set piece vs. Sporting Kansas City 2.
When he’s not scoring, he’s splitting defenses with his passing. That has earned Palomino accolades at every stage of his development.
The next Dynamo 2 player to track is forward Papa N’Doye.
In one of the recent games where Palomino showed off his free-kick skills, N’Doye scored.
He’s a startling opportunist. When he scored vs. Whitecaps 2, it wasn’t off a lucky long ball or directed lob. He watched midfielder D’Alessandro Herrera place a shot that rebounded.
N’Doye quickly intercepted the rebound and netted it.
Dynamo supporters got a brief look at N’Doye in this year’s preseason camp with head coach Paulo Nagamura’s first team.
Before that opportunity, N’Doye played for Southern Methodist University, earning AAC Second Team honors as a senior. He also earned honors playing for Long Island University as a freshman.
He saw pre-season action against Colorado Rapids and Phoenix Rising.
Dynamo first team scouts continue to note progress for both Palomino and N’Doye. Anyone wanting to join them should check the Houston Dynamo 2 schedule and head to AVEVA Stadium for the next home game.