FIFA World Cup 2014: World Cup's rising stars Houston Dynamo should sign

Kevin C. Cox

With the first round of the Group Stage wrapping up, who do you feel stood out enough for the Houston Dynamo to sign?

Yesterday marked the end of the first round of matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage (and start of second). In the first round of matches we saw some standout players and others who were somewhat invisible. Very briefly let's take a look at a few players the Dynamo could potentially sign in the upcoming transfer window.

Joel Campbell - Costa Rica - Arsenal: Joel Campbell signed a 5-year contract with Arsenal in 2011 but has yet to make an appearance for the club. This is in part to the fact it took him two years to obtain a work permit to work in England. While signed with Arsenal, Campbell has been loaned out to several clubs: Lorient, Real Betis, and Olympiacos. Joel Campbell has the awesome ability to float from winger to the striker position. He is a young player; just recently turning 21 years old he could be a phenomenal Young DP for the Dynamo to help fill the role that could be left if Boniek Garcia chooses to leave or once Brad Davis retires.

Shinji Okazaki - Japan - 1. FSV Mainz 05: Shinji Okazaki is a Japanese player who is in the prime of his career and enjoying amazing success in Bundesliga netting 15 goals in 33 appearances with 1. FSV Mainz 05. He has enjoyed equally successful stints with his national team netting 38 goals in 78 Apps for Japan. At 28 years old Okazaki can still bring a lot to the Dynamo. First, he can truly fill the role of a proper striker because he can put the ball in the back of the net. Second, he would allow the team to tap into the Asian market of Houston. If you ever attend live games at BBVA you'll notice we tend to have a strong following in the Asian community, so he could help bring a lot to the team in marketing to the Asian community.

Geoff Cameron - USA - Stoke City: Okay hear me out for a minute here. Yes, we sold him in 2012 to Stoke City, but perhaps it's time to bring him back home. Our defense needs some serious help and we never fully recovered after he left. He initially signed a two-year contract with Stoke but has yet to be re-signed. Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley have both made successful jumps back to the States in the prime of their careers. Perhaps it's time for Geoff to come home to Houston and help lead our defense again.

Raheem Sterling - England - Liverpool: 19 years old, scoring goals, and wrecking havoc. What more could we ask for in a player? Raheem Sterling has been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year and is coveted by the England national team as one of the brightest young stars. Sterling had an amazing game against Italy and barring any injury his star will only get brighter. This is the time for MLS and the Houston Dynamo to show we are a truly great league by signing one of England's brightest stars.

There are a couple of others I would like to add to this list but won't go into as great detail on.

Fernando Torres Spain - Chelsea: his contract is up with Chelsea this year, just recently turning 30 Torres still has some gas left his tank and I honestly believe coming to MLS could reignite him.

Last but definitely not least John Brooks - United States - Hertha BSC: this young defender has shown some amazing promise for both club and country.

So now I ask you, in this first round of matches who do you think has stepped up to the plate that the Dynamo could potentially sign either as a DP or to contract filling an international spot? Let me know in the comments below.

Editor's Note: We realize the Dynamo are cap-strapped right now and any moves are highly unlikely, but we can dream can't we? So dream on!

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