Dynamo offer contracts to Academy players
The Dynamo added two names for the future on Thursday in first-round draft picks Kofi Sarkodie and Will Bruin. They may add two additional, more familiar names in the coming days, as Dynamo President Chris Canetti confirmed Saturday that the club and Major League Soccer have extended contract offers to Dynamo Academy players Josue Soto, who recently completed his senior season at SMU, and Alex Dixon, who recently completed his junior season at the University of North Carolina.
"I can confirm the club's interest in signing these
players and that formal offers have been presented," Canetti said. "We are expecting to
hear back from them soon, and then we will have a better idea of where
Soto, 22, was one of the first players registered by the Dynamo Academy in January 2007. The creative, left-footed midfielder trained with the Dynamo for several weeks this summer and fit in well, according to coaches and teammates. He participated in the 2011 MLS Combine in Florida last weekend, but the Dynamo extended him an offer as a home-grown player on Wednesday, removing his name from draft consideration. Soto had been projected to go in the second round. The Fort Worth native grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, but stayed with his brother while training in Houston; he has dual United States-Mexican citizenship.
Dixon, who will turn 20 in February, attended Atascocita High School in Humble after returning from the United States U-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla. and joined the Dynamo Academy in late 2007. His collegiate career at UNC has featured three consecutive NCAA College Cup appearances, and Dixon scored goals in three straight NCAA tournament games in the 2009 tournament. This year, he served an assist on the Tar Heels' only goal in a 2-1 semifinal loss to Louisville. If he signs, the speedy Dixon - who can play forward or outside midfield - would become the fifth former UNC player on the Dynamo roster, joining Corey Ashe, Tyler Deric, Jordan Graye, and Eddie Robinson.
If the contract offers are accepted, the Dynamo Academy would tie for second in Major League Soccer in most first-team players produced. FC Dallas recently added its fifth home-grown player (although none have started a game), and D.C. United has signed four home-grown players. Chivas USA has also signed multiple players from its youth teams, though only Cesar Zamora and Bryan de la Fuente were signed as part of the home-grown player initiative.