The Houston Dynamo have found a promising young player they hope can revive their attack in 2017.
On Tuesday, the club announced that they've come to terms with 20-year-old Honduran striker Alberth Elis on a year-long loan deal with the option to buy from Mexican club Monterrey. The forward will join Houston as a Young Designated Player, pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate at the opening of the winter transfer window. Elis is the second Young Designated Player on the Dynamo roster, alongside Colombian striker Mauro Manotas.
Elis has reportedly been coveted by several MLS teams this offseason. He turned heads as a member of the Honduras Olympic squad in Brazil last summer, helping his country reach the semifinals after scoring two goals to beat the US U-23s in the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. Elis was named the Best Young Player in the most recent edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, where he scored two goals in four appearances for his former club CD Olimpia.
“I have had the opportunity to follow Alberth for the past three years within CONCACAF tournaments, with the under-20 national team for Honduras, in the pre-Olympic tournament where he was the top scorer, and with his national team and his club team,” said Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera in a club release.
“He’s a very fast, agile forward; and he can play on the left side, as a center forward or on the right side. We’re bringing in a forward who’s very young, but has a lot of talent, a lot of speed, and he’s hungry for the possibility that he has in Houston and in MLS.”
Elis has already scored three goals for Honduras’ senior national team, including one vs. El Salvador in the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. But he struggled to find playing time with Monterrey in 2016, logging only five appearances. Before that, he scored 25 goals in three years with Honduran club Olimpia.
The Dynamo finished in last place in the Western Conference in 2016 while scoring only 39 goals — the second-lowest total in the league. Nobody on Houston scored more than six goals last year.