Houston Dynamo FC signed attacking midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk on a full transfer from Pogoń Szczecin in Poland, both clubs announced today.
The 24-year-old Polish international is signed to a contract through 2024 with club options in 2025 and 2026. Kowalczyk will occupy an international roster spot pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa.
“Sebastian can play as a wide or central attacker who will assist in our final push for the MLS Playoffs and compete for a trophy in the U.S. Open Cup,” said general manager Pat Onstad said. “At the age of 24, he already has a tremendous amount of first team experience with one of the top clubs in Poland and is a member of Poland’s national team pool. We welcome Sebastian to Houston and look forward to him taking the pitch at Shell Energy Stadium as soon as he completes his work visa.”
Kowalczyk joins the Dynamo after spending his entire professional career with Pogoń Szczecin in the Polish first division, Ekstraklasa. The Szczecin, Poland native has made 157 appearances with the club’s first team since 2018, scoring 19 goal and recording 14 assists. Kowalczyk joined the club’s youth outfit in 2012 before earning second team minutes beginning in 2014, where he made 52 appearances and tallied 11 goals.
Kowalczyk helped Pogoń Szczecin earn two Ekstraklasa third place finishes in back-to-back seasons in 2021 and 2022. The midfielder also has experience in continental play, earning seven appearances in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Kowalczyk has international experience with Poland, most recently receiving his first call up to the senior squad in March 2021 where he was on the bench for a World Cup Qualifying match versus England. He also helped Poland’s U21 squad qualify for the UEFA U21 Championship, appearing in three matches during the campaign. The midfielder has made a total of 12 appearances with Poland’s U16-21 outfits, scoring his lone international goal with the U17 squad in an 3-0 international friendly victory versus Norway on Feb. 11, 2015.
Kowalczyk is the 17th player added to the Dynamo first team since the start of the primary transfer window in January of this year. Earlier this month, Houston acquired an international roster spot for the 2023 season from the New England Revolution in exchange for $150,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money.
The Dynamo are having a resurgent season under new head coach Ben Olsen, currently sitting in a Western Conference playoff position. Houston also advanced out of its Leagues Cup group and will host C.F. Pachuca in the Round of 32 on Wednesday, August 2. Additionally, the Club reached the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time since winning the title in 2018 and will host Real Salt Lake at Shell Energy Stadium on Aug. 23. The Dynamo, FC Cincinnati and RSL are the only teams currently in an MLS playoff position and still alive in both the U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup.