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Houston Dynamo Acquire International Roster Slot from Portland Timbers

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The Houston Dynamo agreed to send GAM and TAM in exchange for an international roster slot

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dynamo have acquired an international roster slot in a trade with the Portland Timbers. The Dynamo are sending $175,000 in allocation money with $75,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) going to Portland in 2019 and $100,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) being sent over in 2020.

The trade gives the Dynamo their eighth international roster slot with Alberth Elis, Ronaldo Peña, Matías Vera, Kiki Struna, Maynor Figueroa, Adam Lundqvist, and Alejandro Fuenmayor occupying the other seven international roster slots.

Currently the Dynamo are 3rd in the Western Conference with a few games in hand and even shot up to 2nd place in MLSSoccer.com’s Power Rankings. They’re winning games with several key players injured or players who are slowly working their way back onto the field such as Juan David Cabezas and Romell Quioto which has highlighted the club’s depth.

With the addition of the new international roster slot it makes one wonder which position the Dynamo should target and are they looking for an upgrade or depth. Before this offseason, we would have talked about a serious need for upgrades at center back, but Maynor Figueroa doesn’t look his age and Kiki Struna has done well to solidify the central defense. Adam Lundqvist has done very well to step into the left back role for the injured DaMarcus Beasley as well.

Another serious need was in central midfield as we saw the devastating impact of not having Juan David Cabezas away from the field. Matías Vera and Oscar Boniek García have slowed Cabezas’s return to the starting lineup due to their success which has allowed Cabezas to not rush back from his injury. The Dynamo front three of Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis, and Romell Quioto or Memo Rodríguez is one of the most potent offensive three in MLS.

If Elis or Quioto want to head to Europe which they’ve both spoken about or if Manotas’s stock has risen high enough to get the call from a European club, then the roster slot could be used to replace one or both of them. Elis is the only player of these with a slot so if he departs, then the Dynamo will have two international roster slots available.

The place I think the Dynamo are the most vulnerable, assuming the club doesn’t lose its forwards, is at right back. Without A.J. DeLaGarza there, who do we see instead? Adam Lunqvist if Beasley is healthy? Kevin Garcia? Chris Duvall? We’ve seen teams target our right side when DeLaGarza isn’t available and the results, for the most part, weren’t good. That position, under the status quo, is where I’d upgrade the roster. But where do you think we should target? Let us know in the comment section below.