Houston continued what is becoming a big splash offseason Tuesday as the club finally has its Mexican national teamer.
The Dynamo announced a transfer that will land them 2014 MLS All-Star striker Erick “Cubo” Torres who will join the club as its third Designated Player on a five-year deal. The move lands the club a bona-fide star that it can market to the Hispanic community and has a proven track record of scoring goals.
“I think he’s the type of player we’ve been looking for,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday night. “You take into account his age, his ability, his marketability and what the economics look like and you measure those things and make a decision. In this case, from ownership down, this is a guy that hit in the center of the target for us.
“We’ve looked at Mexican national team players before and we were unable to find the right fit that checked all the boxes,” Canetti continued. “[Torres] checks all the boxes in terms of what we’re looking for in terms of being young, attacking and a Mexican national team striker and one who, even better, has had success in Major League Soccer.”
Torres, who scored 15 goals last season for the now defunct Chivas USA, should provide the class finisher that teams covet at the top of Houston’s attacking formation. With the likes of Giles Barnes, Brad Davis, DaMarcus Beasley and Boniek García surrounding the striker, there should be ample opportunity for the El Tri up-and-comer to thrive.
And so for the second time this year, Houston will splash major cash on a player. They paid Beasley a club-record annual salary when he moved to the Dynamo on a free transfer in the summer. That continued with a big-name coaching hire in former EPL manager Owen Coyle and it continues Tuesday with the addition of a sharp young striker.
For a club that’s long thrived on finding and polishing gems, it’s a move that on the surface represents a shift in mentality.
“Over the last seven or eight weeks we’ve stated that this is a new era for the Dynamo and we feel like it’s important for us to be aggressive and ambitious,” Canetti said. “I do think the appointment of Owen Coyle as the manager and this signing of Cubo Torres as a Designated Player are indicators of what we’re trying to do.”
Torres will join Houston after a loan spell with Chivas that could take up to six months.
“It’s a five-year deal so if we have to be patient and wait six months to see him then that’s the sacrifice we have to make,” Canetti said. “Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get exactly what you want. This was a more than reasonable concession to make to ensure he’s in Dynamo orange.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.