After months of scouting for a potential impact player, the Houston Dynamo announced on Thursday they have signed Honduran international forward Carlo Costly.
Despite reports that Costly had been released by Atlas de Guadalajara last week, the forward comes to Houston as part of a loan deal with the Mexican first-division side. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but MLSsoccer.com has confirmed that Costly will not count as a designated player.
“We’ve talked all year about improving the squad with international signings or in the league,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “[Carlo’s] proven himself, and I think he’s someone who will be good for us on and off the field.”
The Dynamo have been keen on signing Costly since the forward scored in an international friendly against El Salvador at Robertson Stadium on May 29. The club also scouted the striker throughout the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which he tallied a hat trick on June 10 and played in Houston at Reliant Stadium on June 22. Though Costly was a long sought-after target, the timing of the deal could not be better, as forward Will Bruin will be out 4-6 weeks because of a left knee injury.
“We have been trying to bring our forward line more depth all along, but the timing of the deal obviously helps,” Kinnear said.
The 6-foot-2 Costly adds another big striker to a Houston front line that already has three players — Brian Ching, Cam Weaver, and the injured Bruin — that stand taller than 6 feet. While similar in size, the newcomer has the footwork and pace to slot in next to any of Houston’s target men.
Though his skill and size stand out, the aspect that excites Kinnear is Costly’s knack for scoring goals — and nowhere has that been more evident than during his time with the Honduran national team. The 29-year-old has tallied 18 times in 48 appearances for los Catrachos, whom he will join early next week for a friendly against Venezuela on Aug. 10.
“If he can play for Honduras, which is a good team in this region, I think that says a lot,” Kinnear said. “His goal-scoring record speaks for itself. He has good size and pace and attacks the ball well. We’re sure he can be a good forward in this league.”
Costly arrived in Houston on Wednesday and is working to obtain his P-1 visa and international transfer certificate that will allow him to train with the club and be available for selection. He will be officially introduced on Friday.
More help on the way?
In addition to signing Costly, MLSsoccer.com confirmed Wednesday that the Dynamo are primed to make another move as the club is in serious talks with a central midfielder. The club has declined to confirm the identity of the player but are hopeful a deal will be done soon.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.