Dynamo get defender Brunner from Timbers for allocation

The Houston Dynamo didn’t wait long after losing the MLS Cup to make the first move to a better finish in 2013.

The club announced Monday that it has acquired center back Eric Brunner in a trade to the Portland Timbers for allocation money, giving the Dynamo a tested veteran who has anchored the backline for two different clubs in Major League Soccer in his career.

“Eric Brunner’s a player Dominic [Kinnear] has been high on for a long time,” Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “We’ve inquired about him in the past and there was an opportunity to obtain his services in this window and the trade was executed with Portland and he should be a good addition to the team.”

The acquisition comes just two days after Houston dropped the MLS Cup final to the LA Galaxy and provides cover if Canadian international Andre Hainault, who is out of contract, is not brought back to the club.

“I think Eric is a good center back,” Kinnear said in a statement. “He is both good in the air and with the ball at his feet. He has good pace and is also good on set pieces. He has done well in the past with Portland and Columbus. I think he is going to be an important part of the team next year, with the amount of games we’re playing and tournaments we’re in, and the possibility of losing players to the Gold Cup.”

Brunner, 26, appeared in 32 games during the Timbers’ expansion season in 2011 and was a fixture there again at the beginning of 2012, but an ankle injury that required surgery in October ended his season. He’s expected to complete his recovery from the surgery this month.

Brunner joined the Timbers after two seasons in Columbus, where he made 39 regular-season appearances and helped lead the Crew to the 2009 Supporters’ Shield.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.