After another harsh season with former HC Tab Ramos at the helm, the Dynamo finish last in the West for the second year in a row. In that time, the Dynamo broke their club record for most games in a row without a win (16) and came close to beating the MLS record (19). This season was one to forget for Dynamo fans.
Houston Dynamo FC enter the 2021 offseason with 24 players under contract. Of those 24, there are a couple players that raises eyebrows. Here is my list of players currently on the roster that cause the most confusion:
4. Corey Baird
The RSL homegrown was purchased by LAFC in 2021 for $500,000. Baird having an "alright" season with LAFC was enough for Matt Jordan, the former GM of the Dynamo, to purchase the forward mid-season for $750,000. During the time, we were desperate for winger and striker depth. Baird would've been a decent inclusion for the team had he not cost 3/4 of a million and cost more than what he was originally purchased for. Injuries kept him off the pitch for the majority of his time in Houston. In the games he did play, he did not impress. We'll have to wait and see if he is able to turn things around in 2022 but for now he is number 4 on my list.
3. Ariel Lassiter
Contrary to popular belief, the apple does in fact fall far from the tree, this case being Roy Lassiter. Scoring just 3 goals, with 2 being on his debut in 2020, Lassiter can't seem to get himself in good form. Coming to the Dynamo on a loan from Costa Rica giants Alajuelense, he made 16 appearances his first season. It seemed obvious to most of the fanbase that he would not return, given his overall performance and price-tag. However, Matt Jordan made his stay in Houston permanent for the price of around $450,000. His touch sends the ball 5 yds in front of him on most occasions. Wen he does have a look at goal the shot is off target most of the time. His greatest characteristic according to Tab Ramos was his speed, but even that wasn't impressive enough to warrant half of a million. 2022 will be his last chance to prove himself so maybe that can boost him. I guess we will have to see.
2. Mateo Bajamich
After selling Elis to Boavista for a measly 1 million dollars, Matt Jordan sought out a quick replacement. That being Mateo Bajamich, a 21 year old Croatian-Argentine from the second division of Argentina. This cost the club 1.2 million dollars. He was supposed to come in and save the club. However, he didn't even make a single appearance in 2020, and actually got loaned out to his former club to close out the season. In 2021, hopes were still high on Mateo. It became weeks into the season before we finally got a look at what Bajamich could do, and it wasn't much. He was clumsy on the ball and looked out of shape. His touch was heavy and he appeared to lack physicality and technical ability. Overall, not a good player. His minutes were sparse due to Tab telling press he's not ready for MLS. Unfortunately, reports came out that he could not even make the starting 11 for the Dynamo U-23's. After becoming someone who seemed to have a lot of upside, he quickly became a forgotten name during the 2021 season. He is still young and can still make a come back but for now, it seems as if Matt Jordan wasted a lot of money on a subpar player.
1. Darwin Ceren
Since acquiring Ceren from San Jose in 2018, the El Salvadorian captain has made 83 appearances in all competitions for Houston. In that time he has scored six (6) goals and recorded three (3) assists. While being mediocre on defense, he often offers nothing on attack. Ceren is known for silly fouls as well. However, most notable the biggest reason he is on this list is his overall lack of quality. He is just not good enough. He lacks technicality and misplaces easy passes. We as fans thought for sure Ceren's tenure in Houston had come to an end, but Onstad (the active GM for the Dynamo) had other ideas. Coming in last place for roster spending the Dynamo certainly do not need to be spending precious money on a player like Ceren.
Anyways, that is our list. This has been Colin with Keeping Tabs and always remember to keep your tabs.