Houston Dynamo FC: Harnessing teen whirlwind Brooklyn Raines

The most curious Houston Dynamo FC roster addition this season is a teen whirlwind. Defensive midfielder Brooklyn Raines comes on board at age 16.

Raines joins the squad for training camp right out of Barca Residency Academy USA. That’s the elite Arizona operation resulting from an agreement of FC Barcelona and the local Grande Sports World (GSA). US Soccer Federation named it the best training facility three years in a row.

Ever the whirlwind, Raines began activities at this academy as a U-15 midfielder in 2019. It was his first-ever U.S. Youth National Team Camp participation. His Southwest Select team went undefeated through their organized competition.

While developing as a solid defensive midfielder in this academy competition, Raines scored two game-winning goals. That’s when his momentum really took off.

16-year-old Brooklyn Raines is a potential star for the Houston Dynamo

In 2021 El Paso Locomotive FC grabbed Raines out of the academy. They got him signed just before the USL Championship roster freeze that season.

The USL side’s scouting report confirms him as effective in possession playing defensive midfield. He’s also showing good instincts transitioning to attack.

Locomotive made him an academy signing so he could play professionally while retaining college eligibility. The team kept scouting notes on him for the rest of their season and the results looked very strong. So that’s where Dynamo FC comes in.

The team traded for Raines’ Homegrown territory rights from Real Salt Lake. The result is a multi-year Homegrown Player contract. Dynamo general manager Pat Onstad says this roster move fits the team strategy that’s focused on moving up in MLS standings.

His initial statement to the media is that the Dynamo must become a destination for top young talent in the country. To get a little more specific, he said Raines will advance through the team’s player development pathway.

Onstad acknowledged the scouting reports that had rapidly piled up over the past several years. Raines has consistently outstanding reports everywhere he’s stopped, including the U.S. Soccer Youth National Team.

The general manager wouldn’t commit to a time period for the development part, so there’s no binding decision to sub-in Raines for the win late this Dynamo season. But there’s no reason to doubt it, either.

Dynamo has consistently been locking in proven veterans who fit the necessary winning metrics they want this season.

The crowning achievement for these efforts will be if the Dynamo clinch post-season play on a goal by their new teen whirlwind, Brooklyn Raines. If it happens that way, the Dynamo really win.