Watson odd man out in Dynamo midfield

Houston trades Jamaican international to in-state rival

Je-Vaughn Watson’s time in Houston is up as the Dynamo announced Tuesday that the club has traded the midfielder to FC Dallas for a second round pick in 2015, what is likely the first of two moves that brings Andrew Driver to the club.

The club confirmed reports to MLSsoccer.com early Tuesday that it was in talks to bring Driver into the fold. That deal has yet to be made official. In order to do that the Dynamo had to open an international roster slot.

Watson, a Jamaican international who had struggled to find consistent playing time in a deep Dynamo midfield, was the odd-man out and will head up I-45 to play for the club’s in-state rivals.

“Sometimes a move is independent of others and sometimes it is tied to other things you want to do,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “In this case, we were in a position where Je-Vaughn had a good opportunity with the club over the last couple of years and we felt it was time for him to go elsewhere and take on a new challenge. At the same time the move opens the door for us to go out and try and find an alternative at that position.”

Watson came to Houston in 2011 with the hopes of bringing a dynamic presence to the middle of the pitch. Unfortunately, those hopes never fully materialized.

Watson spent his two seasons in Houston serving as depth, starting just 24 out of 41 appearances and never establishing himself in the starting XI. The midfielder was known for showing flashes of brilliance but too often falling prey to mistakes in possession or his want to do too much on the field.

In the end, Watson became surplus to requirements while being passed on the depth chart by Luiz Camargo, Giles Barnes and Boniek Garcia.

“For me I think there was a better opportunity for him in Dallas,” head coach Dominic Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com by phone Tuesday afternoon. “I think for his playing career a move was better for him and he agreed. Therefore the Dallas trade came up and we certainly wish him luck.”

Now Watson is heading to a Dallas club in need of help in midfield and will be looking to finally kick start his MLS career. In return, Houston gets a draft pick, but more importantly, opens up an international spot and budget space to make a move for Driver.

“I think he played a valuable role, but I think it’s a good move for both parties,” Canetti said. “It gives him an opportunity to go start fresh and maybe his role can expand and it gives us the opportunity to go out and open up some space on the roster to pursue other things.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @DarrellLovell.