Honduras' Alberth Elis (left) and Romell Quioto celebrate after scoring against Korea Republic in an Olympic Games quarterfinal on August 13, 2016, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
HOUSTON – Christmas came a few days early for Honduras head coach Jorge Luis Pinto, when the Houston Dynamo announced the signing of Romell Quioto from Olimpia last week.
The 25-year-old forward’s arrival in Houston means that he will reunite with current Honduras and former Olimpia teammate Alberth Elis, who also recently joined the Dynamo on loan from Mexico’s Monterrey. The duo should provide a lethal one-two punch up front for a side that generated 39 goals during the 2016 MLS season, a mark that was tied for second worst in Major League Soccer.
In addition to providing a boost to Houston, Honduras stands to benefit from the partnership, especially since Elis and Quioto can be expected to play thousands of club minutes together in 2017.
Consider their brief -- but already successful – history of playing history together in five CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and six 2016 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament matches. In those 11 matches -- 10 with both of them as starters -- the numbers are impressive: Quioto has scored four goals, while Elis has tallied twice (both assisted by Quioto).
Additionally, they have scored three Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League apiece.
That level of offensive output stands to improve even more with the two playing together again in Houston. Like all strike partnerships, familiarity leads to production and, ultimately, results. While both are scorers, they bring different and complementary characteristics to the table. Quioto is more known for his strength and balance, while Elis’s agility and speed are what makes him special.
“Both Romell and Alberth bring a lot of creativity and speed to our front line and they can play in space, on the sideline, in a central position or from the midfield,” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera.
It’s just the type of club relationship that will help lead Pinto’s Honduras move forward in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.