In a sharp move from the front office, the Houston Dynamo have sent allocation money (likely acquired from the Corey Ashe trade) to Philadelphia Union in exchange for defender Sheanon Williams and an international spot which will be used for Cubo Torres.
The move provides immediate help for a backline that goes into Saturday's match against LA Galaxy with only four defenders total. Williams, who has played in MLS since 2010, leaves the Union after playing the most matches and minutes for the franchise.
Able to play virtually anywhere along the back line, the 25-year old Williams also gives the Dynamo an attacking piece. The defender has logged 7 goals and 19 assists for the Union, usually averaging about a goal and 3 assists per season. In addition to that, Williams is reknown for his beastly throw-in ability (think Adrian Serioux) and could provide assists into the box from the sidelines.
The arrival of Williams comes at a very opportune time for the Dynamo as they head into Saturday's home match against the Galaxy with no defensive help on the bench. Jermaine Taylor remains out with injury, DaMarcus Beasley is away on International duty, and Kofi Sarkodie is suspended on his red card against Real Salt Lake.
While it may be too soon for Williams to get a start, his presence on the bench would provide great reassurance for a team with a bad run of defensive issues. Ultimately, he would look to serve as Taylor's replacement who could be facing a long-term injury.
The move also allows for Houston to come into compliance with MLS roster rules by securing an International slot that is attributed to Erick Torres. There are 160 slots divided amongst clubs and available as a tradeable asset. In typical MLS fashion, official counts per team are not made public so it is a bit of a guessing game but Houston would have been short one with Torres' official arrival. The acquisition of the slot from Philadelphia now brings the roster into compliance.
Scottish midfielder John McGinn has been in training camp with Houston but the team would require another international slot in order to make that signing. If the Dynamo are willing to pick him up, that could signal that there are more trades on the horizon.