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United States U-20 international Felix Garcia joins Houston Dynamo

January 29, 2009 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Houston Dynamo

HOUSTON, TX (Thursday, January 29, 2009) - The Houston Dynamo announced the signing of 18-year-old forward Felix Garcia at a press conference at the team's downtown office today. Garcia, a Laredo, Texas, native, was signed by Major League Soccer to a Generation adidas contract and selected by the Dynamo via the allocation process.

"We are very excited to welcome Felix to Houston," Dynamo Chief Operating Officer Chris Canetti said. "He's obviously a player with a lot of potential, and we're looking forward to maximizing that potential. We are going to be very patient in his development and are eager to see him grow as a professional player under the positive training environment that Dominic Kinnear has established."

To sign Garcia, the Dynamo traded an international roster slot to Toronto FC and swapped the No. 10 allocation ranking for the No. 3 spot that was held by Toronto. The international slot will remain with Toronto FC for two years. As a Generation adidas player, Garcia's salary will not count toward the club's salary cap and he will occupy the third of the Dynamo's four developmental roster slots. The Dynamo now move to the bottom of the allocation rankings.

"It's nice to see another young player decide to play in Major League Soccer," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. "We feel fortunate that we were able to bring Felix to Houston. He comes highly recommended from people I respect, and we look forward to working with him on a day-to-day basis and watching him grow into a very productive professional soccer player."

Garcia was acquired by Major League Soccer from the Laredo Heat of the Premier Development League for an undisclosed transfer fee. He played for his hometown team of Laredo while in high school in 2007 and 2008, scored the game-winning penalty kick in the 2007 PDL championship game shootout, and led the Heat back to the final in 2008.

Garcia trained with the Dynamo South Texas Academy in December 2007 but was called into camp with the United States U-20 national team before he could officially be registered as a Dynamo home-grown player. Youth national team players at the U-17, U-20, and U-23 levels are ineligible to be classified as home-grown players.

The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer franchise that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first three seasons and represented the United States in three consecutive regional championships. The Dynamo will begin their 2009 MLS campaign on Saturday, March 21, taking on the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew. Their 2009 season opens with CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday, February 24 at 9:00 p.m. For more information, please log on to www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.

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