Transfer Tracker: Houston Dynamo shake things up with several moves


The Secondary Transfer Window closed last night in MLS, and the Houston Dynamo finished as one of the busiest teams in the league with seven total moves. Teams can still pick up out of contract players until the MLS Roster Freeze Date of September 15.

Players In
Players Out
Eric Alexander (trade)
David Rocha (terminated contract)
Yair Arboleda (loan)
Leonel Miranda (expired loan)
Jose Escalante (loan)
Giles Barnes (trade)
Keyner Brown (loan)

David Rocha and Leonel Miranda left the club at the beginning of the window, with Rocha opting to go back home to Spain. With limited playing time in Houston and his wife expecting a child, the move was mutually agreed upon between the player and club.

Dynamo VP/GM Matt Jordan had discussions with Independiente in Argentina trying to bring Miranda to the Dynamo on a permanent basis after two loan stints, but the sides could not come to an agreement on the terms of the transfer.

With a central and wide midfielder gone, the Dynamo picked up an experienced and versatile MLS veteran in Eric Alexander from the Montreal Impact in exchange for general and targeted allocation money. The 28-year-old has experience across the midfield, providing cover and competition in each position. Alexander made his Dynamo debut as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The team then picked up winger Yair Arboledaon loan from Colombian powerhouse Santa Fe, with an option to buy at the end of the year. Jordan described the 20-year-old as a player who can stretch the field with his pace and ability to take defenders on in one-on-one situations. Interim head coach Wade Barrett has liked what he's seen from him so far in training, saying that he has a natural instinct to get forward in the attack.

Perhaps the biggest move was the departure of Giles Barnes in a trade to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In return the Dynamo received allocation money and the rights to negotiate with Costa Rican defender Keyner Brown (as well a percentage of any future transfer fee on Barnes), but it also allowed the team flexibility both on the field and in the transfer market as they look to improve. Both Jordan and Barrett have said that more playing time will be allocated to young attackers, such as Erick Torres and Mauro Manotas as they look to determine who can step up to be an impact player in the final third. With Barnes' contract gone, Jordan also has more room within the salary cap and more funds in hand to go out and find difference makers during the Primary Transfer Window in January.

On Deadline Day, the team made two final moves in finalizing the loan for Brown and bringing up José Escalante from Rio Grande Valley FC. Brown, 24, was on trial with the team earlier in July before the loan with his parent club, CS Herediano of Costa Rica, was reached. Brown's deal, like Arboleda's, is for the remainder of the season with an option for a permanent transfer at the conclusion of the loan. Speaking on Arboleda's loan, Jordan said this structure allows the team to see how the player adapts to the Dynamo's environment before making a final decision on their future and has shown success in MLS.

Escalante joined RGV FC at the start of the year on loan from Honduran giants Olimpia, the same club the Dynamo received Boniek García and former midfielders Alexander López and Luis Garrido from. He has joined the first team for training on several occasions throughout the year and produced three goals and two assists through 14 games on the left wing for the Toros.

This window showed an emphasis on youth and prospects, with the three loanees all under the age of 25 (Brown, 24; Escalante, 21; Arboleda, 20). None of the three will be available for Saturday's match in Montreal due to Canadian visa issues, but Escalante and Arboleda will join RGV FC for their match against OKC Energy FC on Saturday night (Arboleda available pending P-1 visa receipt). All should be available on August 13 as the Dynamo host Toronto FC (7:45 p.m. | TICKETS).