Jaqua signs in Austria; Houston is officially thin at forward


A week after losing forward Joseph Ngwenya to a move overseas, the Houston Dynamo is down two forwards now.

Nate Jaqua is set to sign with Austrian club SCR Altach, Soccer America reported this morning. Sources tell SBI the deal has been finalized.

These departures leave Houston with Brian Ching and Chris Wondolowski as the lone natural forwards on the roster. What will Houston do? Will the Dynamo permanently move Dwayne DeRosario into a forward role? Will Houston trade away its embarrassment of midfield riches for a quality forward option?

What do you think Houston should do? Share your thoughts below.

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30 Responses to Jaqua signs in Austria; Houston is officially thin at forward

  1. Gaelen says:

    I think houston will shift either DeRo or Mullan to play forward with Ching but wondolowski should still get a look. Either way the dynamo could use another target type forward given ching’s injury history.

  2. twakum says:

    umm, memo to MLS, your “league” is going to consist of over the hill DP’s and kids making 30k. Forget it, its going to suck….

    players are realizing that playing in the second division of the Uzbekistan league is going to be a better paycheck.

  3. Martek says:

    I still think that Dynamo’s No. 1 priority is back-up keeper because you can’t go into the season with Onstad as the only keeper on the roster. They have some in-house answers at forward with DeRo, or even Holden or Corey Ashe. But at keeper, they have no options. So I’m still for trying to pry Preston Burpo away from San Jose as the No. 1 target of a trade. The question is, how much cap space do the Jaqua and Ngwenya losses free up?

  4. mike ruze says:

    Trade a bag of doritos and a bag of soccer balls for Chad Barrett.

  5. Roger says:

    We should go after a speedy forward.

  6. BrianK says:

    How about a deal with Toronto FC for the rights to Joe Lapira?

    Also,…I agree with twakum’s sentiments. MLS has better start to protect its turf a little more or it will end up DPs and kids making $30K. Not to mention the expansion plans that are on the horizon! [The irony is that DPs coming in will look like world allstars playing against a bunch of green kids and the league will say…”look at the impact the DPs are having!”]

    Maybe it is time for MLS to seriously think about a major repatriation of USA players from abroad,….Simek, DiMerit, Smith, Zimmerman, Whitebread, Corrales, Onyewu, Lewis, Spector, Davies, etc., etc.

  7. Dave says:

    I find it funny that the best forward in Houston’s crop is still on their roster and not it Europe. Does anyone know why Ching is still in MLS?

  8. kpugs says:

    This team must have really been desperate for 1 goal ever 4+ games. Look out Austria!

  9. Johnny says:

    The Exodus continues and the MLS declines. Spend some money. I’m not talking billions here. Make the salaray cap 6 million and make the minimum salaray 70,000. Then some of these players would be sticking around.

  10. Johnny says:


    We need a follow up post on how the MLS is making the league look bad by not even entertaining the 3 million dollar offer (a 3rd try) for TT. THIS KIND OF THING IS GOING TO MAKE ME GO BACK TO BEING A EUROSNOB!

  11. nate sf/ca says:

    All else equal, Mullan is much more likely to be brought up top.

    A quick look at the roster and it looks as if a midfielder could be traded away, although they’re likely to lose Holden to the Olympics. Perhaps trading away a defender as they can drop Mulrooney to the backline as well.

  12. Rocko says:

    They should trade DeRosario to DCU for Gomez. :-)

  13. Scott Dunham says:

    Ashe played forward at UNC and his speed would be a nice foil to Ching’s size. And don’t be shocked if Herron heads south rather than west.

  14. Landis says:

    Totally off topic, but has anybody heard any word on Babayaro to LAG, post Jan 21 reports of him being released by Newcastle?

  15. DC10 says:

    On the other hand DCU continues to improve.. So what if some guys go to europe. Just replace them with South Americans the United way:
    link to mlsrumors.blogspot.com

  16. Roblar says:

    Moving Mullan up top could work since Holden would do an excellent job in Mullan’s old spot. …but then you’d lose one of Mullan’s greatest qualities – his defense!

    I think it makes more sense to push DeRo closer to goal, slide Davis to an AM role, and put Holden out left.

    …or, you could just play Holden up top with Ching.

    …and I’m sure Houston will sign at least one MLS (or similar league) veteran forward.

  17. Paul Lorinczi says:

    Wow…either Jaqua was making peanuts or a small club in Voralberg (Western most state in Austria) must be rich to offer him a better deal. This is by far the strangest move to Europe I have heard about.

    Then again, the low value of the dollar is making our players bargains right now.

  18. East River says:

    Paul this maybe strange but it is no more strange then Clint Mathis’s move to some Greek team I never heard of on the island of Crete(right?). Does anyone know how well that adventure is going for Cleatus?

  19. Ted says:

    DeRo makes the most sense to me – he is a forward. Most people forget thats what he played before Donovan left the Earthquakes.

    Holden could slide into the spot left by DeRo or up top.

    Regardless, the most logical option in my opinion, and one that would suit everybody’s playing style, would be a move to a 4-3-3, with Clark, Davis, and DeRo in midfield and Mullan, Ching, and Holden up top (Holden and Mullan operating the wings).

    Depth is still needed though, especially in the vein of a true No. 9.

  20. Javier Padilla says:

    Give them Carlos Ruiz for anybody!

  21. Fireball says:

    I’ve been wondering Dave’s Q for a while. Jaqua and Ngwenya to Europe before Ching or DeRo? I don’t understand why that is…does anyone have an explanation? Age/injuries for Ching maybe but not sure about DeRo.

  22. papa bear says:

    Wow. I hope that team enjoys their new practice cone. Jaqua stinks. If Houston is dumb enough to trade on of their middies to us (Chicago) for Barrett or the rights to Herron; I’m in.
    Oh and the weak value of the dollar doesn’t make Americans any better of a deal. Their agents have to get enough money for their client to live in their new country after all. MLS clubs might be willing to settle for fewer Euro due to the current weakness but the player still has the ultimate say.
    Argentines who are largely untested routinely move for $10million for that very same reason; their weak currency.
    However, the points on increasing the cap are becoming very apparent. The CBA in 2009 is looming LARGE right now.

  23. Tim F. says:

    Can they resign Paul Dalglish?

    Houston acquired the two forwards mid-year so perhaps they’ll do the samething again?

  24. aristotle says:

    Dave and Fireball,

    I would say that it’s because Ching has been playing poorly for some time now and might seem injury prone. This doesn’t explain Jaqua, but maybe the fact that Houston might still want a big chunk of money for Ching even with his loss of form and injuries does explain it.

    SCR Altach? Wow! If teams are going to come after the likes of Jaqua MLS is going to be in crisis soon. Actually soon might be now.

    Ironically TT is the one who really NEEDS to go! I know everyone likes to make fun of him, but realistically he is a an excellent MLS player who just needs some polishing overseas before he can step up to the international level.

  25. Taylor Twellman says:

    Can I introduce you to the Kick Medicâ„¢?

  26. aristotle says:

    Taylor Twellman,

    Very funny, but I was thinking of a little bit more polishing than Kick Medic would provide.

  27. Domino95 says:

    I think Houston should take pity on the Crew, home to 50% of the US U-20 team, and send us a couple attacking mids. Take your pick of forwards – you may want Moreno back.

    Can’t wait for our college all-stars to take the field this year. By mid summer half the team should be old enough to drink.

  28. Haig says:

    “Does anyone know how well that adventure is going for Cleatus?”

    He’s happy with how his tan is going, he won 16 euros in a retsina drinking contest, and he’s judging a wet t-shirt contest on Thursday.

  29. Thom says:

    What will Jaqua make in Austria? Anyone have any idea? Ives- do you know what the going rate is?

    Look if he can say- get a 50% bump in salary then good on him.

  30. i don’t get the lack of moves by Houston this year, but then again I don’t know their financials. There is something to be said that MLS did nothing to significantly raise the minimum salary. This has to be a major issue when charter planes are being used by all teams but players seeing regular time are making around $30K. I understand why Houston wouldn’t use their DP slot but they should at least think of trading it away for some money and a forward depth. Then again the teams with forward depth to trade would be…?