No sympathy will be poured out from its opponents, but the Houston Dynamo isn't looking so dynamic up front. Joseph Ngwenya, who arrived in a trade from Columbus last season and tied for the team lead with seven goals, is joining SK Austria Karnten as a free agent. Ngwenya scored Houston's first goal in its 2-1 MLS Cup win over New England last November.
SK Austria's Web site has announced the signing and states his contract runs to the end of the current season and includes an option for 2008-09. The 26-year-old played out his MLS contract and rebuffed the Dynamo's attempts to re-sign him.
"I'm very glad that after all the back and forth this deal was done," SK Austria's coach Klaus Schmidt said on the club's Web site. "Joseph was very patient and took a very high risk by trusting that we could settle things by the end of the transfer window."
Also pursuing opportunities in Europe is Dynamo striker Nate Jaqua, who, like Ngwenya, arrived in a trade. He scored six goals and is testing the European waters again as he did last winter, when Toronto took him in the expansion draft from Chicago and later traded him to Los Angeles. The Dynamo acquired him in exchange for midfielder Kelly Gray.
Released in December was Scottish forward Paul Dalglish, who scored two goals in six regular-season games and two more in the playoffs during the team's 2006 championship season, but was limited by injuries last year to just 259 minutes.
Should Jaqua depart, the only holdovers up front for Coach Dominic Kinnear would be Brian Ching, who also scored seven goals, and Chris Wondolowski (one goal in 16 games).
Ngwenya was born in Zimbabwe and played college ball at Coastal Carolina.