MLS Moves: Dynamo snaps up transfer option for Cabezas

Houston’s turnaround season showcased the abilities of midfielder Juan David Cabezas, and the team has displayed its appreciation by converting his loan into a transfer.

“Juan David impacted the Houston Dynamo with his presence on the field throughout the season. He was a top player in the midfield for us and is a natural ball winner,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said in a team press release. “This year he showed his discipline, that he can tackle the ball, win the ball and strike the ball. He was very solid and an important element for the team to be successful this season.”

Cabezas, 26, played 32 league and playoff games on loan from Colombian club Deportivo Cali as Houston rolled to the Western Conference finals after finishing fourth, its highest placing since it last reached the playoffs in 2013. He led the Dynamo with 77 tackles won and 52 interceptions and was second on the team among starters in pass completion percentage (86.4). He scored his only MLS goal in a 2-2 tie with Portland July 29.

“Juan was one of our steadiest performers this year and acquiring him on a full transfer from Deportivo Cali was one of our priorities this offseason,” said Dynamo vice president and general manager Matt Jordan. “He has transitioned well to Major League Soccer and his quality as a player on the field, along with his professional attitude off the field will be important for our club moving forward.”

Houston is negotiating a deal for attacker Alberth Elis, whose loan deal with Mexican club Monterrey expires at the end of the month.

2018 Houston Dynamo Roster:
Defenders: Adolfo Machado, *Philippe Senderos, *Kevin Garcia, *George Malki, *Leonardo.
Midfielders: Juan David Cabezas (Deportivo Cali/COL, transfer), *Memo Rodriguez, Tomas Martinez, *Charlie Ward.
Forwards: Erick Torres, *Andrew Wenger, Romell Quioto, Alberth Elis (on loan from Monterrey until Dec. 31, 2017), Mauro Manotas.
*2018 options picked up.
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