Houston Dynamo acquire former Espanyol center back Raul Rodriquez

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Houston Dynamo wanted to bolster their backline coming off a season where their central defense had some issues, and the addition of center back Raul Rodriquez through a free transfer was aimed to address that area.

Rodriquez was out of contract with La Liga side RCD Espanyol this week after making 80 appearances for the club since his debut in 2010, when he came on the field as a substitute in November during current Tottenham manger Mauricio Pochettino’s reign.

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Before performing for the senior side’s first squad, the Barcelona-born defender played a year on Espanyol B and totaled three years (2007-2010) on Spanish lower-division side UDA Gramenet.

“He is an intelligent defender who reads the game well, is technically sound and will provide leadership to our back line,” Dynamo general manager Matt Jordan said, via the club’s website. “He joins our club at a very good age with a big ambition to succeed in Houston and MLS.”

Rodriquez expressed his content at his recent move to America.

“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.”

Among the Dynamo’s other acquisitions this offseason are goalkeeper Joe Willis, Ghanian back Samuel Inkoom, and former Chivas USA forward Erick “Cubo” Torres.