After taking in the Dynamo's match against Toronto FC over the weekend and training with the team this week, English midfielder Giles Barnes apparently liked what he saw. It also appears the Dynamo liked what they saw from Barnes and have agreed to terms with the 24-year-old on a contract.
As per usual, terms weren't released but if the Dynamo built this contract like others in the past, this is a low risk, high reward situation for both sides. We'll have to wait and see how quickly Barnes figures in to the team, but we know he'll play for the reserves against RSL next Friday.
As for where he fits, from what I've been able to learn, he can play on the left or right at the top of a 4-3-3 formation, so he may provide Kinnear some flexibility and options up front with Macoumba Kandji and Calen Carr. More is better and this seems like a smart and interesting addition for Houston.
The official press release is after the jump.
HOUSTON, TX (Wednesday, August 29, 2012) - The Houston Dynamo have signed free agent midfielder Giles Barnes, it was announced today. Barnes will be added to the Dynamo roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa and international transfer certificate. Per team and league policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Barnes, 24, joins Houston with eight years of experience in the upper levels of English soccer. He has 138 total appearances in all competitions, including 35 games in the Barclays English Premier League. Barnes also made 12 appearances for England's U-19 national team.
"This is a very exciting signing for the club," said Dynamo president Chris Canetti. "We have acquired a young, talented and versatile player with the potential of being an impact player in MLS. Although he's only 24 years old, he brings a wealth of playing experience at some reputable English football clubs."
The attacking midfielder joined Derby County of England in 2005 at age 17 and helped the Rams gain promotion to the English Premier League in 2007. Barnes scored ten goals in 84 appearances with Derby County and earned its Young Player of the Year award in 2007.
The London native spent 2010-11 with West Bromwich Albion of the English Premier League and made 19 appearances for the Baggies.
Barnes played the 2011-12 season with Doncaster Rovers of the English Championship, the second tier of English soccer. The winger tallied one goal and four assists in 36 appearances in all competitions last season.
Full Name: Giles Gordon K. Barnes
Height: 6'1" Weight: 181 lbs.
Date of Birth: Aug. 5, 1988
Birthplace: London, England
Last Club: Doncaster Rovers F.C. (England)
How Acquired: Signed as a free agent