This offseason, the Houston Dynamo acquired Minnesota United forward Darwin Quintero. He’ll fit in will with new head coach Tab Ramos’ attacking philosophy.
When MLS season opens in just a few months, look for forward Darwin Quintero in the Houston Dynamo attack. That’s who the team got to complete head coach Tab Ramos’ 4-3-3 formation in a trade with Minnesota United.
The Dynamo also get Minnesota’s third-round pick in the next MLS SuperDraft. In return, United gets from Houston forward Marlon Hairston and a total of $600,000 in Allocation Money.
Quintero became the Loons’ first-ever designated player in 2018. The transfer rumors escalated when Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath left him on the bench in the U.S. Open Cup final against Atlanta United.
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Quintero was introduced in the 75th minute but Minnesota lost 2-1. The forward cautiously expressed his disappointment, both with the starting line-up and in his team not winning their first trophy since their MLS inception during the post-game press conferences.
Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath acknowledged afterwards that he knew his decision was not popular. He emphasized that he formed the team that he believed was the best for the club, regardless of any individuals.
And then something amazing happened. For the first time in over a decade, voters named a player from the losing team the U.S. Open Cup Most Valuable Player. That was Darwin Quintero.
The margin in votes was vast between Quintero and MVP runner-up Miles Robinson, defender for champion Atlanta United FC. MVP voting is by TheCup.US staff, a panel of North American soccer reporters and TheCup.US Patreon team.
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Minnesota United FC was the first team from its state in the 107-year-old U.S. Open Cup tournament. Quintero celebrated that feat when he tied the record for the tournament’s Modern Era (1995-on) with six goals and an assist. He’s the second consecutive Colombian to win the award, joining fellow Houston Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas. He’s the third overall, with Seattle Sounders Fredy Montero in 2011.
In winning U.S. Open Cup MVP on a losing side, Quintero joins Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander, who helped his United Soccer League team reach the semi-finals in 2008. They are the only such MVP winners since 2006.
Quintero, then, can quickly fit into the Houston Dynamo 4-3-3 as a highly rated center-forward. He has also proved proficiency as an attacking midfielder or winger, working proficiently either through the middle or playing off a frontman. His greatest strengths are dribbling and executing key passes, his creativity and goalscoring vital to Minnesota United over the past two seasons.
The Houston Dynamo are set to be an offensive team under new head coach Ramos. And Quintero excels at such a style. He will be a crucial part of the Dynamo team next season.