Heading into the 2015 season, there has been some question as to whether the Houston Dynamo have any designated player (DP) slots available. Following the signing of DaMarcus Beasley during 2014, the Dynamo had no available slots given Oscar “Boniek” Garcia’s status as a DP and Alex Lopez’s status as young DP.
However, Orange in the Oven has confirmed with Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti that heading into the 2015 season, Garcia will no longer be considered as a DP, freeing up a spot for the Dynamo to potentially use on another player. Alex Lopez, however, will still remain a young DP into next season.
More from Orange In The Oven
Garcia (and Lopez for that matter) status as a DP was driven not by salary but rather by amortization of the transfer fee which was allocated over multiple seasons. With that transfer fee now fully amortized in the case of Garcia, his cap hit is determined strictly on the basis of his salary and bonuses which fall below the DP threshold.
With a DP spot in hand, an ideal target for the Houston market – especially given the Dynamo’s current situation at the striker position – would be signing Mexican international Cubo Torres. According to Canetti, “we are tracking the Cubo situation and definitely interested in seeing how that develops and plays out.”
Depth at striker took a hit this week when Mark Sherrod was selected by Orlando City in the Expansion Draft then subsequently traded to San Jose. Asked about the loss of Mark Sherrod, Canetti responded, “we did not want to lose Sherrod and are disappointed over that. [However] we can only protect 11 and were bound to lose someone.”
When these answers are taken separately, they mean a lot for the upcoming season. However, together they can allow us to speculate whether that now open DP slot could be used on Cubo Torres or another player.
We know that Houston Dynamo fans everywhere are dreaming of a possible Torres signing and this will certainly give those dreams a new burst of hope. However, reality is that the Dynamo would face intense competition for Torres, especially from the LA Galaxy which is the rumored preferred destination for the Mexican international.
It should also be noted that Matt Jordan recently went on a scouting trip to Spain and South America and that free designated players slot could go to any player that may be signed from that trip.
The important takeaway is that Canetti promised big changes and all of this points to a fulfillment of that promise. We are truly entering a new era in Houston Dynamo history and this change is happening from multiple aspects in the club.
We will try to keep you updated as more news comes our way. Please stay tuned and strapped on for an interesting off-season.