2018 Fantasy Primer Houston Dynamo Preview

Houston Dynamo

2017 Houston Dynamo Review

The 2017 season was a resounding success for Wilmer Cabrera and crew! The Houston Dynamo loyal saw their team move from bottom-dwellers to MLS Cup semifinalists. The Dynamo finished with 50 points from 34 matches, coming in fifth overall in scoring with 57 goals over the season. Houston continued their tradition of having massive difficulties getting any results away from BBVA Stadium, but also continued to be a nearly impossible team to beat at home.

Transaction Watch

OUT: Tyler Deric, Joe Willis, Jalil Anibaba, Alex, Ricardo Clark, Vicente Sanchez, Cubo Torres

INChris Seitz, Alejandro Fuenmayor, Darwin Ceren, Eric Bird, Alturo Alvarez

The biggest plus for the Dynamo this offseason is that they have signed Alberth Elis to a contract and kept him in Houston. Houston has kept a majority of their key players, with the notable exceptions of Tyler Deric, Cubo Torres, and Alex.

The early-season concern for the Dynamo is going to be on defense. Assuming Tyler Deric’s suspension isn’t lifted anytime soon, former FC Dallas keeper Chris Seitz is the shoo-in for goalkeeping duties to start the season. The other question will be how to fill the A.J. DeLaGarza-sized hole at right back while AJ recovers from his 2017 post-season ACL injury. Cabrera may opt to shift Adolfo Machado over to the right, leaving room for newcomer Alejandro Fuenmayor to step in alongside Leonardo at center back. DaMarcus Beasley and Dylan Remick will likely be competing in the offseason for the start at left back. If Remick wins out, he could be a cheap way into an occasional Dynamo clean sheet.

Houston’s midfield hasn’t changed a ton yet. With Alex gone, the Dynamo will be relying heavily on young

DP Tomás Martínez to be the creative spark for Houston’s attack. Darwin Ceren comes in to the team as a solid defensive midfielder, and will probably pair up with Juan David Cabezas behind Martinez in the middle of the pitch. Alberth Elis was the biggest offensive weapon for Houston in 2017, and I expect that to continue as he becomes more and more experienced with MLS play.

The other big news for the Dynamo was the sale of Erick Cubo Torres. This means two things:

  1. The Dynamo are putting all of their eggs in the Mauro Manotas basket to start the season
  2. The Dynamo have some spending money (but who knows if and when they’ll use it)

Expected/Predicted Starting XI Picture

The Dynamo played mostly a 4-2-3-1 in 2017, with two defensive midfielders shielding the back line. I expect more of that to start the 2018 season:

Tactical Analysis

Houston did well when they played quickly on the counter and caught defenses off guard. Cabrera said himself that he knew other teams would be ready for the Dynamo of 2017, so it’s likely he’ll have some new ideas to mix in to the fold in 2018. Having Manotas as the guaranteed starter has the potential for good things – Mauro is a talented forward; I expect him to be worth whatever MLS Fantasy puts as his price tag.

The Houston defense is definitely a wait-and-see situation early in the season, especially with the home opener against offensive juggernauts Atlanta United FC.

2018 Expectations and Closing Fantasy Thoughts

The Dynamo exceeded expectations in 2017, and have kept many of the key pieces of that roster into the 2018 season. If there are bargains to be had on the roster, they are definitely worth a gamble, especially when they’re at home.

About Travis Luscombe

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