The Houston Dynamo will become the fifth MLS club to strike an affiliate deal with a USL PRO club, MLSsoccer.com has learned.
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the Dynamo will take advantage of the agreement between MLS and third-tier USL PRO and will send four to six players on loan to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds starting next season.
Dynamo officials declined to comment on the news on Tuesday, but club president Chris Canetti tweeted on Monday morning that news would be coming regarding the club's work to find a USL PRO partner.
Back at today. Lots happening. 2014 schedule announcement today, traveling later for Tue morning announcement of USL Pro affiliation.— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) November 25, 2013
Houston first disclosed it was interested in partnering with a USL PRO side in October, when Canetti told MLSsoccer.com that the club was looking for a partner that fit its needs from an organization and competitive standpoint. Pittsburgh, who were founded in 1999, have been a member of the USL PRO since 2011.
The Riverhounds have scheduled a press conference for 10 am ET on Tuesday morning to announce a major agreement.
Currently, four other MLS teams have afflilations with USL PRO teams: Sporting Kansas City (Orlando City), New England (Rochester), Philadelphia (Harrisburg) and D.C. United (Richmond). MLS officials have said they want all MLS clubs either fielding their own reserve teams in USL PRO or affiliating with one by 2015.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.