A joint article written by the co-hosts of Keeping Tabs Podcast
Twitter: @KeepingTabsPod - Ran by Colin and Luke
6:30 PM CNT | 3/25/2021
As most of you are aware, the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying is currently going on, and while I sat in my chair watching the US VS Mexico, I suddenly had a sickening realization that the Dynamo have sent no one, not a single player, to this tournament. Just take a look at our biggest rivals who sent an all important Jesus Ferreira and Tanner Tessman to the tournament. Making huge splash signings is something far out of reach with our current ownership group. Just like in everyday life, you must play the hand you are dealt. In the Dynamo’s case, this is having to work with a shoestring budget. What is the best way to do this? To have success at the youth academy level.
Only two players out of the academy have ever made a true impact with the first team, one being former goalkeeper Tyler Deric and the other being the fan-favorite Memo Rodriguez. At 25 years old with 15 goals and 9 assists in 75 appearances, Memo has more than made a name for himself down here in H-Town. Although his talent is undeniable, the sad truth is that Memo will never even get close to making a USMNT roster.
The number one reason for such little success in past years is not the low budget, neither is it the coaching, the general manager’s decisions, or even Houston’s awful defense as of late. No, instead it is the lack of talent the Dynamo produce through the academy. The budget issue would at least be improved if even a little by producing and selling home grown talent.
With much frustration we as Dynamo fans saw HG’s Marcelo Palomino (center attacking midfielder) and Erik Mccue (center back) loaned out to the USL. I agree that Mccue needed time to develop as he is still without a Dynamo appearance despite being part of the club for 2 seasons. However, with what limited minutes we saw of Marcelo Palomino last season, it seemed as though he could really step it up this season. Alas, we will wait until 2022 to see if he will be a hit or miss. It seems as though we will never have that HG breakout star that the whole league cannot stop talking about. We really need that one player to just become relevant in the league again.
However, all hope is not lost this season, as we have 17 year old Daniel Rios (striker) and 16 year old Juan Castilla (central mid) on the roster. If you would like to learn more about Daniel Rios, we at Keeping Tabs held a very interesting interview over zoom that I will post here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHkZN89pLMw&t=27s. These kids have a lot to prove and they are hungry for game time. Head Coach Tab Ramos is eager to let the kids play as both HG talents saw the field in the Dynamo’s most recent preseason match VS USL side FC Tulsa which ended in a 3-0 win for Houston. Ramos is not silent about the need for young players to prove they deserve time. So, the fact Rios and Castilla both saw playing time is encouraging to see. We will keep close tabs on the two teenager’s improvement this season.
Today, as I sat in my same chair in front of the TV, I watched Brenden Aaronson from the Philadelphia Union academy score a goal in today’s USMNT match versus Jamaica. Creating, improving, and selling homegrowns does so much more for a club than just bringing in money. It brings in exposure, it brings in validation, and most importantly it brings in confidence. All three of those concepts have been missing from the Dynamo culture for years.
Maybe finally bringing up that HG star wouldn’t solve all of our problems immediately, but it would be a good start. Whatever the answer could be, we here at Keeping Tabs will keep on trying to find out.
This has been a Keeping Tabs article. Remember to stay safe, wear your mask, and always keep tabs.