MLS Moves: Elis and Ortiz arrive from Central America

There has been a flurry of activity as MLS clubs prepare for the 2017 season. Much of the attention has been on players in Central America. On Tuesday, the Houston Dynamo acquired 20-year-old Honduran international Alberth Elis, arguably the Catrachos' best young striker, on a 12-month loan, and D.C. United added 24-year-old Costa Rican forward Jose Guillermo Ortiz, also on loan.

Ellis will join Houston as a Young Designated Player from Monterrey. The Dynamo has the option to purchase Elis’ contract at the end of the loan period. He becomes the second Young Designated Player on the Dynamo roster after Mauro Manotas and joins fellow Hondurans Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jose Escalante in Houston.

Elis, who joined Monterrey from Olimpia on August 2016 and appeared in five games. has scored three goals in 15 appearances for Honduran since making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2014. Elis won the Golden Boot at the 2015 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship with four goals, including both goals in the semifinals against the United States. Honduras advanced to the bronze-medal game at the Rio Olympics, where Elis finished with two goals.
 
“He’s a very fast, agile forward, and he can play on the left side, as a center forward or on the right side," said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. "We’re bringing in a forward who’s very young, but has a lot of talent, a lot of speed, and he’s hungry for the possibility that he has in Houston and in MLS.”

United acquired Ortiz from Herediano on loan with an option to buy at the end of the 2017 season. He joined Herediano after a breakout year in 2016 with Alajuelense. He was the leading scorer in the Torneo Verano with 15 goals.

“Jose is coming off a very good year in 2016 and we are very pleased to have secured his services in a one-year loan,” Dave Kasper, United's general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “His energy and movement create problems for opposing defenses, and he has a nose for the goal."
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