Houston Dynamo have acquired Spanish defender Raúl Rodríguez from RCD Espanyol of Spain’s Liga BBVA, the club announced today. Rodríguez will be added to the Dynamo roster upon receipt of his P-1 Visa and international transfer certificate. Per club and league policy, terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"I'm very excited to join the Houston Dynamo,” said Rodríguez. “This move represents a great challenge for me in my career with the growth of MLS. The Dynamo are an ambitious club with a clear vision and I'm excited to be a part of this project. Houston is a great city with a lot of possibilities for me and my family. I can't wait to join my teammates and coaches and get to work."
Rodríguez, 27, made 80 first-team appearances in five seasons with Espanyol. The Barcelona native signed with the hometown club in summer 2010 and briefly played with the reserves before making his Liga BBVA debut in November 2010 against Atlético Madrid. Rodríguez made a personal-best 28 league starts for Espanyol in the 2011-12 season.
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“We are very pleased to welcome Raúl Rodríguez to the Houston Dynamo,” said Dynamo vice president/general manager Matt Jordan. “He is an intelligent defender who reads the game well, is technically sound and will provide leadership to our back line. He joins our club at a very good age with a big ambition to succeed in Houston and MLS.”
The center back made his professional debut in 2007 with UDA Gramenet in Spain’s Segunda Division B (third-tier) and made 83 appearances in three seasons with the Catalonia club.
“We are delighted to sign a player of the caliber of Raúl Rodríguez, who has played at the highest level, showing great defensive qualities against some of the world’s best attacking players,” Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle said. “Raúl also has great technical ability on the ball and is excited to be part of the Houston Dynamo.”
Full name: Raúl Rodríguez Navarro
Date of Birth: Sept. 22, 1987
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Previous club: RCD Espanyol (Spain)
How acquired: Signed as a discovery player on Jan. 9, 2015