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Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Dynamo midfielder Alex drawing early-season praise

Anytime is a good time to hand out non-existent awards, and now that we're a quarter of the way through the 2017 MLS season, MLSsoccer.com's Armchair Analyst decided to pick his own. His early season Breakthrough Player of the Year? None other than Dynamo midfielder Alex.

Alex garnered praise in Houston in 2016, his first full season with the club, as he scored a career-high five goals in the regular season and provided constant energy on both sides of the ball. His play didn't garner much of a larger audience, however, due to the lack of team success.

This year is a different story, as Alex has remained a key cog in the midfield for a resurgent Dynamo squad. This time, he's turned provider: he is tied for the league lead in assists with six, after only tallying four in his previous 121 MLS games. All while remaining a menace on the defensive end for opposing teams. It also earned him a spot on Doyle's quarter-season Best XI.

Forwards Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis also earned consideration from Doyle for Newcomer and Young Player (U-23) of the Year, respectively.