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Christmas Signing – The Leonardo Update

Another draft comes and goes and the Houston Dynamo have added another player as Rebuild 2017 continues. This Christmas present to the fans comes in the form of 3 x MLS Cup winner Leonardo to round out the center back line.

Cowabunga dude.

Ok, no more TMNT references. Unless we sign another one than it’s fair game.

Leo should be very familiar to Dynamo fans as he has squared off against us numerous times over his five years with the Galaxy. The Brazilian is very good in the air and his tackles are accurate and sharp more often than not. In a lot of ways he is an almost like-for-like replacement for David Horst, who has departed the team.

During his time with LA, Leonardo received his citizenship so he doesn’t count as an international as well.

It should be noted that he hasn’t technically joined the team yet. The Re-Entry Draft Round 2 is basically teams calling dibs on negotiating with a player first. If talks break down, Leonardo can sign with whomever he wishes. But for the sake of the rest of this article, let us assume that he will sign for Houston.

How does the depth chart look now?

Presumed starters will be listed first. A ‘–‘ means there isn’t a starter (in our eyes) in that position yet.

Goalkeeper: Tyler Deric, Joe Willis, Calle Brown

Centerback: Agus, Adolfo Machado, Leonardo, Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Garcia

Rightback: Oscar Garcia*, Jalil Anibaba

Leftback: –, Dylan Remick, Kevin Garcia

Defensive Midfielder: Ricardo Clark

Central Midfield: Ricardo Clark, Alex, Eric Alexander

Attacking Midfield: Oscar Garcia, Christian Lucatero

Right Midfield: Oscar Garcia

Left Midfield: Andrew Wenger

Forward: Mauro Manotas, Erick Torres, Will Bruin, Alberth Ellis

*  = Can play there but performance level is questionable

One thing to note is that Mauro and Alberth can play on the left and right wing, respectively, though in more advanced roles and not traditional wingers. More like wide forwards (or inside forwards if you will). We’ll be going over that in greater detail very soon.

The shopping list sits at starting outside backs on both sides (or left if you think Boniek can do it), defensive midfield, attacking midfield, left midfield and right midfield (again, depending on where you put Boniek).

Really once the Dynamo get the outside back positions filled, the glaring needs of winger and attacking midfield are all that is left. With a ton of allocation money still to be spent, Jordan can afford to grab some pretty high quality players to fill those spots. Personally, the best use of that money wouldn’t be on the wings but instead in the left back and attacking midfield positions. If Cabrera is going to use some variation of a 4-3-3, getting quality wingbacks is the key to the whole formation.

Attacking midfield should go without saying.

As it stands, the Dynamo don’t have a Designated Player spot open so they’ll need to either sign a free agent, execute a loan or make a trade within MLS. That limits their options to fill that spot (finally, after years) during the winter break. Now if they make this rebuild into a year-long process (as it should be), then lining a player up to join at the end of their contract during the summer wouldn’t be a terrible idea. It’s likely to upset a few fans but if they announce it before the season starts, it should alleviate fans’ anxiety.

Do you guys think Houston will be able to sign Leonardo? Where do you see him in the depth chart? What position do you want filled next? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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