The Houston Dynamo kept their offseason of change going with three more moves Thursday that they hope are another step in returning the club to competiveness in 2015.
Houston plucked forward Chandler Hoffman and midfielder Nathan Sturgis in the second phase of the Re-Entry draft before announcing a deal with goalkeeper Joe Willis. The moves address the club’s need for depth, something they said would be a priority this offseason.
"We’re trying to add depth to the roster at this point,” club president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com Friday. “We need to add good quality depth to surround the base of talent that we’ve got already. I think these players could fit that need.”
Per league policy, the club has seven days to negotiate with players selected in the Re-Entry draft, meaning there’s still work left to do before Sturgis and Hoffman are officially a part of the team.
If signed, Hoffman’s selection was a shrewd bit of business. He was a Generation adidas signing out of UCLA, scored 14 goals in 2014 for the LA Galaxy’s USL PRO side, Galaxy II, and offers a young option at the position that lost Mark Sherrod in the expansion draft.
Still, Hoffman (pictured above) has yet to find a consistent place in the league, appearing just 15 times in three seasons with the Philadelphia Union and Galaxy. If his season in USL PRO is an indication, however, the potential is there.
Sturgis is a versatile 11-year MLS veteran, who played midfield and even center back during his first stint in Houston in 2012 when he appeared in five games and was routinely lauded for his ability to play the ball.
The move to sign Willis came later in the day when his rights were obtained in a trade along with Samuel Inkoom’s from D.C. United for Andrew Driver and a draft pick. Willis brings experience and will be expected push incumbent youngster Tyler Deric between the pipes.
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“I think adding Joe Willis to our roster brings competition to a key position,” general manager Matt Jordan told MLSsoccer.com. “In every position, in every team, it’s important to have players that are pushing one another. That’s how the group continues to grow and helps the team perform well.”
“I think the roster is still a work in progress,” Canetti added. “We’ve announced a few deals and are still working on things we need to do. I think we’re making great strides in the offseason so far, although we haven’t come in with a big bang announcement. We’ve made moves that make sense for us as we start to put the roster together.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.