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Three answers to our questions about the Houston Dynamo

Dynamo Theory let’s us know if Houston’s start is a mirage or real.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo FC Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders make their third and final trip of the season to Texas on Wednesday where they’ll face the Houston Dynamo. We reached out to Dustyn Richardson of Dynamo Theory to get a better handle on what they should expect:

What has Paolo Nagamura’s transition to first-team coaching been like? His time with Sporting 2 didn’t seem to indicate he’d be a success.

Nagamura seems to be learning quickly on the fly. Saturday’s match against Nashville, winning 2-0 with 10 men, was easily his best performance this season. Nagamura got all the tactics right for a much-needed three points. There was a lot of skepticism among fans when he was hired because, like you said, he wasn’t very successful at Sporting Kansas City 2. I think the new Dynamo ownership and front office looked past the on-field results and saw a blueprint in SKC that they would like to follow. Sporting is a club that develops young players and Nagamura comes from the “Vermes system” that has been very successful over a long period of time (this year notwithstanding).

If a team manages to stop Darwin Quintero who steps up to provide the offense?

Everything runs through Darwin. When he is on, the team looks like they can play with anyone in MLS. When he is off, they struggle to get anything going offensively. New DP striker Sebastian Ferreira has five goals in all competitions this season but he is very reliant on service, especially from Quintero. The Houston wingers — a combination of Fafa Picault, Tyler Pasher, and Corey Baird — just haven’t been able to get Ferreira involved in games. If Darwin can’t get himself and Ferreira involved then Adalberto Carrasquilla who the Dynamo will turn to. Coco, as he’s known by the fans here in Houston, just made his loan deal permanent and is coming off a goal and a Team of the Week appearance after Saturday’s win.

Can Houston maintain a playoff level of soccer or is the early season a mirage?

That’s a really hard question to answer. On one hand, the Dynamo always get a number of home games early in the season, to avoid the summer heat in Houston, and have been known to get off to good starts and then fade as the season progresses. On the other hand, Mexican international Hector Herrera will be joining the team in July from Atletico Madrid and expectations are high around his arrival. If the Dynamo can stay around the playoff positions into July when Herrera is expected to make his debut, they could ride the wave into a playoff appearance. Right now I wouldn’t say that is a likely scenario, if you gave me truth serum, but it is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

The reverse questions can be found at Dynamo Theory.