With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the main ins and outs for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Houston Dynamo’s key signings and departures and what they could mean for them in the 2018 MLS season…
Houston Dynamo bounced back in a big way last season. They finished bottom of the West in 2016 but responded with a major reshuffle and ended the 2017 campaign in fourth spot, making the playoffs for the first time in four years. They went all the way to the Conference Semifinal, where they were brushed aside by Seattle. But it was a positive season and the aim will now be to build on that. They’ve retained the services of key players such as Alberth Elis and Juan Cabezas on permanent deals. But they haven’t stopped there and have ensured changes have been made to keep them competitive in 2018…
Arturo Alvarez: Alvarez joins Houston from Chicago Fire, where he scored three goals and added two assists in 25 games last season. At 32, he brings key experience to the dressing room and should provide valuable depth in the final third. He will be entering the 13th MLS season of his career and should be a good addition for Wilmer Cabrera’s men.
Chris Seitz: One of the key positions for recruitment this offseason was the goalkeeping spot. And Houston wasted no time in dealing with it as they brought in the experienced Chris Seitz via free agency, following his release from FC Dallas. He is an MLS veteran, with 11 seasons behind him, but at 30 he is still young in goalkeeping terms. He enjoyed his best season in 2016, playing 28 games for Dallas as they won the Supporters’ Shield. But he had to play second fiddle to Jesse Gonzalez in 2017 and is now ready for a new challenge in Houston.
Darwin Ceren: The signing of Darwin Ceren should really solidify the Dynamo’s midfield. He joins the club from San Jose Earthquakes, who picked up around $175,000 in allocation money for his services. Ceren has played 75 regular season matches over the past three seasons, scoring two goals with six assists. He knows the league well enough now and should shore up the Dynamo’s midfield with his tenacious approach.
Welcome to Houston @CerenDarwin!
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) January 19, 2018
Alejandro Fuenmayor: The 21-year-old defender joins from Venezuelan top flight side Carabobo FC, where he made his debut at age 17 in 2013. Despite his young age, Fuenmayor is experienced and should shore up a Dynamo defence that had the sixth-best defence in 2017. He has already played over 70 professional matches in his homeland and helped Carabobo to boast the Venezuelan league’s best defence last year.
Ricardo Clark: Another experienced Dynamo player to depart is Ricardo Clark. The 34-year-old midfielder had been with Houston since the summer of 2012, playing 178 games over the past six seasons. He failed to score last season – the first time that’s happened in his 13-season MLS career – but did add two assists and his presence in the dressing room with no doubt be missed. He has since signed with the Columbus Crew via free agency.
Alex: After picking up 11 assists in 32 regular season games last season, Alex will more than likely be missed in 2018. The Dynamo had tried to agree terms to extend his stay with them beyond the 2017 campaign but an agreement couldn’t be reached. He has since moved to South Korea to join Suwon FC on a presumably bigger salary that the one being offered by Houston.
Erick Torres: Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres has returned to Liga MX with Pumas UNAM for an undisclosed fee, following three years in Houston. He led the team in goals last year with 14. But unfortunately, he was only able to find the net twice in his final ten games of the regular season. His goals will be missed and his presence in the attack will be difficult to replace. But the decision to move him on following the offer from Pumas makes sense.
Dynamo transfer Erick Torres to Pumas UNAM: https://t.co/F8cRFAf9Fo
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) January 25, 2018
Tyler Deric: Deric departed Houston in damaging circumstances, following his arrest and charge with domestic assault. He was suspended following the incident in November and understandably released following the 2017 season. Deric is currently not eligible to be signed by any MLS team until his league suspension is lifted.