HOUSTON – Saying the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup wasn’t a successful tournament for Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis is an understatement. The Honduran international failed to score, let alone leave a mark in the tournament, despite having his share of chances.
Now, back wearing orange, Elis is doing what he does best — be a difference-maker on the field for the Dynamo.
Saturday’s 3-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes was Elis’ third game back with Houston but the first in which his impact was felt on the field. Elis, who is on loan from Liga MX side Monterrey, scored his seventh goal and grabbed his fourth assist of the season to lead the way in a victory that pushed the Dynamo into a tie for first place in the Western Conference.
“We needed him. We needed Romell [Quioto],” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera of the Honduran attackers. “Today they were pushing, they were working, they were creating options. They were running and making the runs and they were dangerous.”
Despite the tumultuous Gold Cup run that he had, Elis said that his performance there is in the past and forgotten about. He added that he’s focused on the Dynamo and ready to leave it all on the field for the team.
“I’m happy and ecstatic that we won, which is what’s most important,” Elis said. “We played a great game for all 90 minutes and we need to continue doing that.”
In an attempt to continue getting the best from Elis, and Quioto, the Dynamo decided that, after a Gold Cup where they logged heavy minutes, rest and recovery was needed to get them back to playing at their highest level.
“For them, they needed to come back,” Cabrera said. “I spoke with them. The idea wasn’t to just to overload them with a lot of games and a lot of minutes.”
There’s a good statistical reason why the Dynamo want Elis and Quioto at the top of their games. The Dynamo notch a goal every 29 minutes when the Catracho duo is on the field. When only one, or neither, are on the field, Houston scores a goal every 65 minutes.
“That’s why the coach brought us: to score goals and grab assists,” Elis said. “And we’ve responded and God willing it continues.”