How do you grade Hector Herrera's Houston Dynamo season?
The Houston Dynamo spent a lot of money and a lot of time hyping midfielder Hector Herrera's midfield debut. The opening salvo on July 9th was a winner but what about the rest of the season?
The Houston Dynamo have spent the better part of a decade courting the Hispanic soccer fanbase. At every turn whether it was Luis Landin or Cubo Torres or Mauro Manotas being the most recognizable, it was a failure. Manotas came the closest of becoming the player everyone came to see. In 2022, they turned their attention to Hector Herrera.
Hector Herrera is the most decorated player to come to the Houston organization. His name like Torres was easily recognizable. His talents well documented. Only injury and age were the biggest question marks. It was rumored that when he arrived in Houston and the reason his playing time had been reduced with Atletico was due to a leg injury.
The Mexican international who is expected to lead El Tri at the 2022 World Cup in November arrived in Houston on June 29, 2022. He debuted with the club in spirited match that ended in a 2-2 draw with in state rival FC Dallas. A sellout crowd showed up to welcome him to Houston see him as a second half sub.
Herrera signed through 2024 at 5 million per would be subbed on for the biggest matches against FCD and Austin FC before starting in six consecutive matches and playing the full 90 in each. Following the August 20th tie with Colorado, he would miss the final game of August and the entire month of September due to an undisclosed injury. Assuming he starts and plays Sunday night on Hector Herrera bobblehead night, he will have started nine of a possible 15 matches. Extrapolating that to an entire season, Houston gets him for approximately 53% of the season. Is that worth 5 mil?
Of the nine matches in which he has played , Houston has 2W-1D-6L. Although there have been flashes of his old self, Herrera has not yet produced the magic expected by the hype of the signing. Some think the signing was a way for him to get into better playing shape for Mexico and to cash in on a big payday in the closing years of his career.
At 32, it's really hard to judge how done or not Herrera is. In his partial season with Houston, he has appeared in the starting XI 40% of the time, played 48% of the possible minutes available and had just one assist. Is this what the $5 million is paying for.
Since soccer is a game about results and performance, Herrera at best after 14 games receives a grade of C. This may be a little generous but at the moment, he has not elevated the play on the pitch with the exception of his debut nor has he been integral in changing the direction of the season. Assuming that he is not playing at a 100% healthy, then the silver lining is that he should be rested and ready for next season and then we will know if Herrera is indeed the missing piece to drawing the Hispanic fanbase in droves to PNC Stadium.