HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo announced on Wednesday that it had signed former Rio Grande Valley FC midfielder Jose “Memo” Rodriguez and defenders Taylor Hunter and George Malki ahead of the new Major League Soccer season. Former PDL standout Joe Holland was also signed by the club after all four had impressed during preseason training camp.
“We are pleased to announce the additions of Joe Holland, Memo Rodriguez, George Malki and Taylor Hunter to our first team roster. All four players have earned these contracts based on their performances throughout the preseason and by demonstrating a professional attitude,” said Dynamo Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “The signing of our three USL players is a great example of what we are building as a club and our continued commitment to the vertical integration between our First Team, USL team and Academy.”
A former Dynamo Homegrown signing, Rodriguez joined the Toros prior to the club’s inaugural season in the USL last year and helped lead the side to a second-place finish in the USL Western Conference. Rodriguez had six goals and seven assists for RGVFC as he appeared in every game of the season. He had also previously spent time on loan in the USL from the Dynamo with the Charleston Battery in 2015.
Hunter appeared in 21 games for the Toros last season as he anchored a defense that allowed just 24 goals, second-fewest in the USL, and fewest in the Western Conference. The defender started one regular-season game for the Dynamo in 2015 and appeared in two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, and also spent time on loan in the USL with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, where he made 14 appearances during the club’s inaugural season.
Malki signed with RGVFC last January where he appeared in 25 games and finished with one goal and one assist. The defender joined the Dynamo for the 2015 preseason before signing with Arizona United SC, for which he made 24 appearances in his first full professional season.
The trio of players join fellow former Toros defender Kevin Garcia on the Dynamo’s roster for the 2017 MLS season, after Garcia became the first player to make the move between the clubs late in the 2016 season, and will have a familiar face at the helm with former Toros Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera having been appointed as the new Dynamo Head Coach this offseason.