Houston Dynamo finalize permanent transfer of forward Alberth Elis

Alberth Elis - Houston Dynamo - celebration

The Houston Dynamo are bringing back one of the key pieces from their 2017 turnaround, announcing Wednesday that they had acquired forward Alberth Elis on a full transfer from Liga MX side Monterrey. Elis joined the Dynamo last year on a year-long loan with the a transfer option, which the club executed to obtain his player rights.

Elis, 21, had a stellar debut season for the Dynamo as he tied for second on the team with 10 goals and was tied for third in assists with four. In his first postseason appearance, La Panterita scored the game-winning goal against Sporting Kansas City during the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs in overtime.

“The transfer of Alberth Elis to the Houston Dynamo sends a clear message from our ownership group and club to our fanbase and throughout MLS about our intent and ambition,” said Dynamo vice president and general manager Matt Jordan in a team statement. “At just 21 years old, Alberth is already one of the top players in CONCACAF, and is a constant threat to opposing defenses. He has transitioned well to the city of Houston and our league, and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow and develop working with our coaching staff.”

Elis, a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, also starred for his national team in 2017. He played in 11 games and scored four goals for Los Catrachos, with all of his tallies coming during Honduras' seven World Cup qualifying matches. Elis also featured in four matches during the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. His performances for both the Dynamo and Honduras earned him a nomination for the CONCACAF Best XI.

“We are looking forward to Alberth continuing to bring his desire to attack defenders with his speed, his decision-making, and his scoring mentality. That is something that Alberth brought in 2017 and we hope he brings that again in 2018,” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We are going to help him develop different skills, so he can grow as a player and help the team.”

Prior to his time in Houston, Elis made his debut in 2013 for CD Olimpia in his home country before leaving in 2016 for Monterrey, where he featured for a half-season in the 2016 Apertura before joining the Dynamo.

Houston now have 16 players on the roster for the 2018 season. Elis is the eighth player to occupy an international roster spot for the Dynamo, joining defender Adolfo Machado and Philippe Senderos, midfielders Juan David Cabezas, Tomas Martinez, Charlie Ward, and forwards Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas. He occupies one of three Designated Player spots on the roster, along with Martinez and Torres.

Houston Dynamo
<strong>ROSTERED PLAYERS (16 of 30 spots filled as of Dec. 13, 2017):</strong>
<p><strong>GK (0):</strong> --<br><strong>DEF (5):</strong> Kevin Garcia, Leonardo, Adolfo Machado (INT'L), George Malki, Philippe Senderos (INT'L)<br><strong>MID (6):</strong> Arturo Alvarez, Juan David Cabezas (INT'L), Boniek Garcia, Tomas Martinez (DP, INT'L), Memo Rodriguez (HG), Charlie Ward (INT'L)<br><strong>FWD (5):</strong> Alberth Elis (DP, INT'L), Mauro Manotas (INT'L), Romell Quioto (INT'L), Erick Torres (DP), Andrew Wenger</p>
<p><strong>OFFSEASON ACQUISTIONS (4):</strong> Arturo Alvarez, Juan David Cabezas, Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia<br><strong>OFFSEASON DEPARTURES (16):</strong> Alex, Eric Alexander, Jalil Anibaba, DaMarcus Beasley, Calle Brown, Ricardo Clark, AJ DeLaGarza, Tyler Deric, Jose Escalante, Boniek Garcia, Joe Holland, Taylor Hunter, Christian Lucatero, Dylan Remick, Vicente Sanchez, Joe Willis</p>