UPDATE (12 pm ET): The move was officially announced on Monday afternoon via full transfer.
“Our top priority this offseason was to strengthen our defense with a key signing at center back, and Aljaz Struna fits the profile we were looking for,” said Dynamo SVP and general manager Matt Jordan said in a statement. “He joins our club at a prime age with the quality, experience and winning mentality that will improve our group right away.”
The Houston Dynamo have signed Slovenian center back Aljaz Struna from Italian Serie B club US Palermo, sources confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Monday.
Struna has spent most of his career in the Italian second-division. The 28-year-old has five league appearances for Palermo this season. He started 37 games for the club in the 2017-18 campaign and has made 142 league appearances, including 22 in Serie A, for three Italian teams since he moved to the country from Slovenian side Koper in June 2012.
Struna has 12 career caps with the Slovenian national team. He most recently suited up for the country in their 1-1 draw against Norway in the UEFA Nations League on Nov. 16.
The sources said that the Dynamo signed Struna ahead of several other interested MLS teams, one of which was New York City FC. He’ll bolster a center back corps that struggled at times last season and currently only includes Alejandro Fuenmayor and 17-year-old Erik McCue, who signed as a Homegrown Player earlier this offseason.