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Meet the New Guys: Kyle Morton

Houston has a new backup goalkeeper. Will Morton see action for the Dynamo in 2021?

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Club: Saint Louis FC (USL Championship)

Acquired by: Signed a one-year deal on a free transfer with club options in 2022 and 2023.

Position: Goalkeeper

Houston Dynamo FC have added Kyle Morton to strengthen the goalkeeper group after the departure of Cody Cropper, who saw no game action in 2020 with the club. Now Morton will be the primary competition for Marko Maric’s position. Compared to current backup Michael Nelson, Morton has about 67% more professional games under his belt and will push Maric if he does not want to lose a grip on his starting role. “In an effort to expand our depth and competition with our goalkeepers, we wanted to add someone with the right mentality and experience to compete every day,” mentioned coach Tab Ramos. “Kyle has been doing the work over the last few years and we feel he is ready to compete.”

The Pennsylvania native started his youth development with the Philadelphia Union Academy, which has become a model to follow in MLS. However, Morton decided to take the college route and joined James Madison University, playing 69 games in his four-year spell with the Dukes. Oddly enough, in his final college season, Morton and Nelson crossed paths at OKC Energy U23 in 2016. Kyle began his professional career with the Rochester Rhinos in 2017, where he only played one match for the second-tier team. His next stop was with Pittsburgh Riverhounds, in which he enjoyed his most productive year in 2019 with 28 appearances. Most recenlty Morton played for the now dissolved, Saint Louis FC, helping the franchise reach the conference semifinals. Kyle ended the season with 20 goals conceded and a 75% saves success rate by stopping 61 of 81 shots faced.

What does he bring to the Dynamo?

Morton, 26, brings significantly more experienced to the goalkeeper group. Standing at 6 foot 4 inches Morton’s strong physique will make his presence felt on the field. “Kyle has worked hard through the last couple of years to earn this opportunity at the MLS level and we look forward to welcoming him to our Club. He is a player who has the talent and upside to provide strong competition within our goalkeeping corps,” said General Manager Matt Jordan about Kyle.

Like every position on the field, competition is always a good thing. Morton will give Maric a run for his money and if the time comes, he will need to be ready to step up when time comes.

Will Kyle Morton see any minutes this season? Let us know your thoughts.