HOUSTON – Dynamo officials declined to comment on the multiple reports out of Greece on Wednesday that link 27-year-old Aris FC forward Sergio "Koke" Contreras Pardo with a transfer to Houston.
Aris announced his release on Wednesday claiming he would be continuing his career in MLS – although they did not specify which club. In a tearful press conference to announce his move from from the Greek club, Koke talked about his former team and how the move to the United States will impact him and his family.
"I thought of my family first,” said the Spanish attacker. "I have been here for five years and I wanted a new experience. [Aris] helped me develop as a man and then as a player. Aris is a club that makes you feels deep sentiments, but unfortunately, such is life in professional soccer. This proposal came from abroad and it is going to help my family considerably.”
The Dynamo have maintained that their search for a new Designated Player will continue given the right fit. The team told MLSsoccer.com last week that negotiations had broken down with Mexican international winger Edgar Pacheco as a DP.
If Houston were to bring Koke into the mix, he would be a welcome addition to the forward position, joining Brian Ching, Cam Weaver, rookie Will Bruin, Jason Garey and Calen Carr as the club’s options. Known as a playmaker – Koke has scored 47 goals in his career – he will add a creative dimension the club has been looking for to improve its attack.
Houston have gotten excellent play from Weaver and Bruin the last two weeks. The pair has combined for three goals the past two games, and with Ching targeting April 23 as his return date, the inclusion of Koke would create a tough decision for head coach Dominic Kinnear.
If reports of Koke’s signing come to fruition, it is big news for a Dynamo organization that has worked to rebuild their roster after a disappointing 2010.
In addition to Koke, Jamaican international midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson is in town training with the club and played in the reserves’ 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City. It’s not clear if a pending deal for Koke would alter Watson’s situation but the team should have room under the salary cap to sign both players.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.