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Houston Dynamo exercise contract options on five players; re-sign Jalil Anibaba

The Houston Dynamo have exercised club options on the contracts of five players for the 2017 season and have signed defender Jalil Anibaba to a new contract, the club announced today. Additionally, Houston declined the options on five players while three players’ loan agreements are set to expire at the end of the year and four players from the 2016 roster are currently out of contract.

“These transactions are another step in the process as we continue to re-shape the roster and build towards a successful 2017,” said Dynamo vice president and general manager Matt Jordan. “As a technical staff, we anticipate a busy offseason as we remain in pursuit of targets both internationally and within the league while preparing for the upcoming SuperDraft.”

The Dynamo picked up contract options on midfielder Eric Alexander, goalkeeper Calle Brown, defender Kevin Garcia, midfielder Alex Lima and goalkeeper Joe Willis. Alex was voted the club’s Player of the Year by local media and was voted the Players’ Player of the Year; and Willis earned team Defender of the Year accolades from the press. Alexander played in 10 games with three starts after joining the club midseason. Brown spent the season as Houston’s reserve goalkeeper, while Garcia captained Houston’s USL affiliate, Rio Grande Valley FC, to a second-place finish in that team’s inaugural season.

The Dynamo have reached a new contract agreement with Anibaba, who joined the team prior to the 2016 season. A natural center back, Anibaba saw action in 30 of 34 games with 28 starts in his first year in Houston and played every position in the back line during the course of the season.

Houston declined the contract options on defender Sebastien Ibeagha, midfielder Rob Lovejoy, midfielder Cristián Maidana, defender Raúl Rodriguez and midfielder Zach Steinberger.

Defender DaMarcus Beasley, defender David Horst, defender Abdoulie Mansally and midfielder Collen Warner are currently out of contract.

The loans for three players on the 2016 roster are due to expire at the conclusion of the calendar year. Midfielder Yair Arboleda (Santa Fe, Colombia), defender Keyner Brown (Herediano, Costa Rica) and midfielder José Escalante (Olimpia, Honduras) each joined the Dynamo on loan during the summer transfer window. The Dynamo retain the right to negotiate with each of the players and their respective parent clubs through the end of the year, and those discussions are ongoing.

The Dynamo are in ongoing discussions with Beasley, Horst, Rodríguez and Warner regarding a potential return for the 2017 season.

Including the players whose contract options were picked up, the Dynamo now have 16 players under contract for the 2017 season.

Houston Dynamo players currently under contract:

Goalkeepers (3): Calle Brown, Tyler Deric, Joe Willis
Defenders (4): Agus, Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Garcia, Sheanon Williams
Midfielders (6): Alex, Eric Alexander, Ricardo Clark, Boniek García, Christian Lucatero, Andrew Wenger
Forwards (3): Will Bruin, Mauro Manotas, Erick Torres*

*Currently on loan

TRANSACTION: The Houston Dynamo picked up 2017 contract options on MF Eric Alexander, GK Calle Brown, D Kevin Garcia, MF Alex Lima and GK Joe Willis. The club also re-signed D Jalil Anibaba to a contract extension; and declined 2017 contract options on D Sebastien Ibeagha, MF Rob Lovejoy, MF Cristián Maidana, D Raúl Rodriguez and MF Zach Steinberger.